ABU DHABI // Next time you visit an airport, you might want to give the fellow serving your sandwich a little more respect - he could save your life. A dozen emergency workers with Abu Dhabi Airport Company (Adac), which runs several airports in the emirate, have been certified as CPR (cardio-pulminary resuscitation) first aid trainers and have begun the process of teaching hundreds of their colleagues, from the people manning the check-in counters to those working at duty free shops, how to administer first aid.
The instructors, mostly firemen trained by the Emirates Institute for Health and Safety, a private company, were all smiles on Sunday, slapping hands and taking photos on their mobile phones, as they received their teaching certificates. One trainer, Wilbert Milan, 36, from the Philippines, said: "During big incidents, or maybe even if it is a small situation, it is very important to know there are techniques for dealing with injured persons. The training is very useful. I feel more comfortable, more confident."
They began passing on their training by teaching other emergency workers the same day. The instructors will eventually receive more advanced training, and airport authorities hope they will eventually be certified as paramedics, something that Wahaid Salah Mohammed, 23, a Palestinian, is looking forward to. "Yes, why not?" he said. "It is to save people." Norm Labbe, the managing director of the Emirates Institute for Health and Safety, said having first responders on site was important to the safety of passengers going to and from airport terminals.
Mr Labbe said: "This will be a viable way to provide consistent health care from emergency services staff at all airport facilities and also will provide a very positive image to anyone visiting Abu Dhabi." Capt Salem Mohammad al Khazraji, the head of learning and development for Adac, added: "We want to increase the safety and services for our passengers. At the same time, we want our firefighting department to be the strongest in the area."
The instructors will be based at the company's five airports: Abu Dhabi International, Al Ain International, Al Bateen Executive, Sir Bani Yas Island and Delma. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org