Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A very civil (defence) afternoon

Time for the college to have its civil defence competency recertified. Part of that exercise involves having us attend a recourse in basic emergency procedures conducted by Civil Defence personnel themselves.

Such young boys they are, and having to give us hard-bitten, jaded, seen-it-all-before Education Officers an afternoon of going back over things-we-already-know can't have been their favourite assignment on the day's roster. I bet they'd much rather be fighting an actual four-alarm fire, risking life and limb and the prospect of a horrible crispy death than face being slowly and painfully flayed alive and torn to shreds by, um, us.

Nevertheless, they kept their composure, put up a brave front and on the whole did a reasonably good job of entertaining us with good, old-fashioned schoolboy humour -- and still got through to us on some new developments in the emergency rescue industry. Like, we got some hands-on with the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) that has recently been installed in many shopping malls and has since been the object of desire for anyone with fantasies of playing doctor in a public place. The device actually produces vocalized instructions (in English) to prompt the user on the correct sequence for its use. Still, it requires the user to have had some training in its use. The prompts are simply reminders, not instructions to land a plane by.

The other training modules were refreshers: CPR, basic fire-fighting, emergency evac and the mummification of live but injured subjects.

The boys showed courage in spending a whole afternoon us, a truly fearsome audience bent on making their lives memorably miserable for their pains. And they survived us well enough that I'm sure they'll show the same level of courage through hell and high-water to rescue me should I ever require their assistance.

Nice job, boys!

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