VITAL: Leadership Through First Aid

The Moorelands Kids after-school program, VITAL, serves as a development program for advanced personal leadership, which teaches high school students the skills necessary to be leaders in their own communities. VITAL is a 32-week program where participating youth go through a core leadership program that includes opportunities like gaining up to 20 volunteer hours, leadership retreats, job-skills preparedness workshops, group mentoring, and much more.

This year, VITAL participants were introduced to basic first aid training. Youth were taken through a series of lessons and procedures that taught them valuable instructions for medical emergencies. They learned important medical lessons such as,

“Knowing the importance of the recovery position” and “Checking for scene safety before trying to help” said Irahs and Jodie, two members of VITAL.

Learning Leadership Skills

Through the first aid course, participants also were taught critical leadership skills for crisis management.

Joel, another VITAL participant added that,

“The primary objective of first aid training was to empower us as leaders to bring safety to our communities and increase our qualifications”.

VITAL members clearly saw the value in learning basic first aid which helped hone their skills and confidence as leaders. Participants are able to be more confident in leadership positions as they’re prepared for emergency situations. Samaiyah, another VITAL participant, also recognized the importance of her first aid training outside of learning basic first aid knowledge. She explained that the training taught her to,

“Stay calm and always assess the situation for danger so you know if you can help first or the ambulance can”.

VITAL participant Jodie shared a similar statement, saying that first aid,

“Gives you the knowledge and skills you need to stay calm during an emergency. Attempting to stay calm during a stressful time is part of being a good leader”.

While learning valuable medical skills, first aid also taught VITAL youth that it’s most important to stay calm during an emergency. People often look up to leaders to see how they should behave in emergency situations, so it’s important that youth learn to stay calm so they can think clearly to find the best possible solution in an emergency situation.

The VITAL program empowers its participants through various courses aimed at developing their leadership skills which they can take back to their own communities, and apply in a school or workplace setting.

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