Here at Communities Without Boundaries, we believe that everyone should know basic first aid and CPR, because you never know when your day could turn into a disaster zone. Fires, severe weather, earthquakes, and other natural disasters can strike at any time. You should be prepared. Reading this article is the first step toward being prepared.
CPR is easy to do, even if you have never taken a class. First, you check around the injured person for hazards that could hurt you, such as sharp wire sheaves or chemical spills. Then you check for breathing by listening and feeling at their mouth and nose. If they are not breathing, simply plug their nose and breathe into their mouth twice, then follow up by pressing hard on their chests 30 times. Repeat this pattern until help arrives. See illustrated instructions here.
Basic first aid is easy too, as a lot of it is based on common sense. For broken bones, try to move the person as little as possible. You can use rolled up towels to help stabilize the break. For bleeding, use a clean cloth of any kind to cover the wound and apply pressure. For poisonings, remove the person from whatever is poisoning them and call poison control immediately. The only counter intuitive fact you should know is never to pull out any impaled object, as it will only injure the person further.
The #1 thing to remember, however, is that you're never far from professional medical help, so the most important thing you can do for someone who is injured or sick is to call 9-1-1. The call is free from any phone and can be tracked using GPS even if you're not able to tell the operator where you are. Stay calm, call for help, and don't try to do anything too drastic, such as a tracheotomy, and you'll be fine.
Taking a Class
It's always good to have proper first aid training, whether you're going to be staying in your condo or camping in the wild. Emergency or Standard first aid is fine for city dwellers, but for campers, hikers, and other explorers who will be further from ambulance service, Wilderness First Aid or First Responder courses are recommended. Everyone should also know CPR and take AED training, as Automated External Defibrillators are cropping up in more and more public places.