In This Issue:
Our Goals for 2010 and Beyond
Our primary goal has always been to prevent the needless loss of life and limb, and this is the sole purpose of Disaster First Aid©. DFA originated in the San Francisco Bay area of California as an earthquake preparedness course, and has gradually spread to many states on the East and West coasts, a few in the heartlands, and a few places outside the US. But now we have a bigger goal.
It has been soul-crushing for us to see on the BBC News the hundreds of children of the Haiti earthquake with eyes full of sorrow and arms or legs amputated. The extensive complex micro-surgery required to reattach nerves and tissue and bone was impossible in these circumstances. Amputation was necessary to save their lives because their broken bones and wounds had become so infected while waiting for care that they became life-threatening. That's one of the things the simple actions of DFA might have prevented in many cases, actions anybody could have done, if they only knew.
We want to take Disaster First Aid training to a wider scope, and make it available to anyone and everyone, in the world. Just as CPR has become common knowledge everywhere, DFA should be too. It may not happen in our lifetime, but it needs to happen, so let us begin now.
It is simply unconscionable to let so many people - and the children - pay the price for our innocent ignorance of these simple formulas and acts that could save so many. Too many of us simply assume "It can't happen here." But it CAN happen here; it can happen anywhere. When catastrophe strikes and everything falls down around us, and overwhelmed 911 rescuers can't come for hours, days, or weeks, it will be just us. You and me.
So we at Disaster First Aid© have made the decision to give it away. In the most visible, most immediate, most accessible way possible: by Internet. The PDF file of the text /handbook contains all of the pages. It is less convenient than the printed book of course, which can be kept in your first aid kit, but otherwise it's the same.
You can learn a lot from just the book. A better way to learn is from the PowerPoint, which has 80 slides, and is much more detailed than the handbook. The best way to learn it is to take or teach the course yourself, with a group of people - trying out the skills practice together, and learning to help as a team.
The Haiti Earthquake
Little more needs to be said about the devastation, suffering and death in Haiti; you already know how desperate this situation is. Not only medical help, but help of the most basic life-essentials are needed: water and food. Some of the most well-known agencies like Red Cross are getting lots of donations, but there are also other agencies that are more direct, important, and much more effective, with less money spent on administration. We recommend this one: The World Food Program. This organization has been feeding the hungry in the poorest nations of the world for decades, through famines, wars, droughts and floods. They are able to get in, where other agencies often cannot, and they know how to get it done. Please donate at their web site, whatever you can.
What We're Doing
Disaster First Aid is too late now for the people of Haiti, though thousands of lives could have been saved if some of the survivors had known the simple actions of Disaster First Aid and the Rapid Triage treatments. Common-sense things anyone can do, without formal equipment or medical supplies.
Disasters can happen anywhere, any time, to anyone. Recently more and more of our website visitors are coming from India and the Middle East. We don't ship to those areas because both time and costs make it prohibitive. We wanted to do something, and we came up with a radical idea: To make an e-book from the the DFA text handbook that could be downloaded for free, all over the world.
We did that, and you are welcome to download the book for yourself and your family. Since the book is 52 pages, and because it was designed for press printing, this makes the PDF file quite large and slow to download. Please be patient, and if you have only a modem, you might go to a public library or other place that has free WiFi or cable for a faster download.
If you like this course and think it's valuable, PLEASE CONSIDER TEACHING IT. Get the download and more information. Be sure to read the FAQs page too.
What's New in 2010
1. The Free E-book PDF file version of Disaster First Aid (as