By Hong Kong Red Cross
Ling Kwok found first aid really useful when her daughter was bleeding seriously after an accident. Ling, a Hong Kong Red Cross volunteer, was able to stay calm, stop the wound from bleeding, and monitor her daughter’s condition until the paramedics arrived.
Ling Kwok has a hearing impairment but she did not let her disability stop her from learning first aid. Although Ling did not pass the test first time, her first aid knowledge proved useful to help her daughter. When Hong Kong Red Cross provided first aid courses for the hearing-impaired, she enrolled immediately.
“That course had the same syllabus as regular first aid courses,” Ling explains. “The only difference was that the instructor had a better understanding of people with hearing difficulties, so he would explain the subject patiently until we all understood it. I finally passed the exam.”
Ling now works part-time at a convenience store by a park. Whenever children in the park suffer an injury, their parents rush to the store to look for help. Ling is always ready to respond.
“I tell them that I have a first aid certificate,” she says. She guides them and instructs in the proper ways to treat injuries. Apart from hearing difficulties, Ling also has reduced vision due to cataracts.
“I know that people with hearing or visual impairment face different challenges and accidents, so I hope that my friends will take up first aid courses to help those in need, particularly people who are differently abled,” Ling says.
“Having the ability to perform first aid is just one of the qualities required of a responder. It’s all about having the right attitude.”
Another first aid responder who has been with the Hong Kong Red Cross for almost 27 years, Lam Ka-wong, says that the people of Hong Kong are always willing to help during an emergency.
“They just need a little encouragement, and the courage to perform first aid,” says Lam, who is also a Student Counsellor and Registered Social worker.
“I joined the Red Cross Uniform Group when I was in secondary school and obtained a first aid certificate then. At that time, youth members could serve as a first aid responder.”
After graduating high school, Lam took more intensive courses on first aid and became an active volunteer, serving as a first aid responder in countless events.
“Once, during the July 1st Procession in 2004, many participants suffered a heat stroke. It became a flurry of rescues as we loaded up one patient after another into ambulances,” says Lam.
“In another incident, we had a shortage of responders, but I was grateful that the Red Cross First Aid Service Team responded quickly, involving volunteers from other teams as well. Thanks to them, we were able to tend to the patients.”