JCU and Red Cross team up to deliver disaster training

@JCU JCU and Red Cross team up to deliver disaster training

JCU's College of Healthcare Sciences and Red Cross team up to deliver disaster training

Pictured from L-R: JCU’s Associate Professor Caryn West and Research Officer Andrea Grimes with Red Cross Capacity Development Coordinator Beth Stapleton, QLD Director Leisa Bourne, and FNQ/Nth QLD Regional Coordinator Daryl Hanger. Absent is JCU academic and Red Cross volunteer Sandra Downing

What do the James Cook University Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition and Red Cross Emergency Services in Queensland have in common?  Quite a lot it turns out, when it comes to building disaster-resilient communities.

On December 5-7 2016, in partnership with Red Cross, JCU piloted a “Resilient Communities in Disaster (RCD) course with 15 Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition students, who attended the three-day training at the Cairns campus.   The pre-registration nursing students undertook training in Resilient Communities and disaster, Psychological First Aid (Red Cross), and Disaster First Aid.

Research Officer Andrea Grimes, said “the purpose of the course is to increase community resilience to disaster situations by capacity building student and registered healthcare workers to provide support in preparedness, response and recovery”.

Project lead and Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing & Midwifery Education & Research Capacity Building, Associate Professor Caryn West, was very impressed with how the pilot ran and together with Red Cross Emergency Services in Queensland would be working on rolling out the workshop on a larger scale. Associate Professor West said “there has been growing interest in the RCD 3 day workshop both nationally and internationally. Currently there is nothing quite like this course and the enthusiasm has been truly wonderful. By being resilient communities can prevent loss of life, reduce property damage, reduce business interruption and lower emergency response and disaster recovery costs. Resilient communities are also able to recover from disaster situations quickly as they can function well under stress, proactively protect themselves and successfully adapt under changing conditions”.

The RCD course aims to value add to the current local community resilient plan ensuring participants are knowledgeable, safe and connected within their communities prior, during and post a disaster situation. It is hoped that in the near future this workshop will be available to all health students.