Tragedy prompts need for training |Video

Australian Red Cross first aid trainer George Chapman. Photo: PAIGE WILLIAMS

Australian Red Cross first aid trainer George Chapman. Photo: PAIGE WILLIAMS

The number of drownings in Australia is increasing, according to a new report, prompting calls for more Dubbo residents to learn a live saving skill.

In 2016/17 there were 291 people who drowned in Australian waterways. It was an increase from 282 in 2015/16 and 266 the proceeding year.

The figures showed how important it was to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation, said local Red Cross first aid trainer George Chapman.

“Last year there were 29 children between zero and four years and 12 between the ages of five and 14 who drowned in our waterways, which is just tragic,” he said.

“We know that CPR saves lives if administered quickly so I encourage everyone to undertake the training.”

A person whose heart has stopped has an 80 per cent chance of surviving if CPR is started in the first minute. It goes down to less than five per cent chance if CPR is not started until ten minutes later.

“Even if you think you know what to do in an emergency, the reality is when faced with an emergency situation like a drowning you can panic, particularly if it’s a family member,” Mr Chapman said.

“If you do the training you’ll feel confident to take action, and quickly, and this can be the difference between life and death.”

Even if you think you know what to do in an emergency, the reality is when faced with an emergency situation like drowning you can panic...

George Chapman

Red Cross has been running a spat of courses in Dubbo to boost the number of people trained in CPR and first aid. Currently, about 10 per cent of the city knew CPR, Mr Chapman said.

“I think there’s a thought in the community that we’ll never never need it but unfortunately we do. You may never use it, and most people won’t, but if you’re in that situation then you can get in and do something,” Mr Chapman said.

“I always say ‘why do people stand around at car accident scenes? Because they don’t know what to do’.”

To book into a CPR course in Dubbo, or a refresher course, call Red Cross on 1300 367 428.