With the motto ‘All together, all around you, all safely’ primary school children were taught about health and safety at an educational workshop on Friday morning at the Mall of Engomi.
The event was organised by the ministry of education, the ambulance services of the health ministry, the NGO Reaction, the Mall of Engomi and the mayor of Engomi with the aim of developing the children’s skills relating to safety and health.
Around 50 pupils from three classes of the sixth form of Engomi primary school gathered in the parking of the mall at around 9.30am. Members of the fire service and representatives of the ambulance services were ready to greet them.
After the children received general instruction on safety, such as how to safely evacuate a building and how to find an escape route, a training exercise simulating an emergency involved the students in order to develop their skills.
The simulated scenario was that a customer had been hit by a car in the parking of the shopping centre and was lying on the ground, wounded and having lost consciousness.
After they were told what to do by a representative of the ambulance services, two of the children called 112 and explained the incident in detail, relating the condition of the injured person, the exact location, and their own phone number and name so that they could easily be called back by the authorities.
A real ambulance from Nicosia general hospital arrived at the scene about 20 minutes after the pupils placed the call for help and the driver prepared to take the ‘injured’ person who was still lying on the ground. The children also had the opportunity to enter the ambulance to inspect the equipment inside.
The next phase of the exercise was about how to deal with different types of fire. In this scenario, a dropped cigarette butt was supposed to have caused a fire near the entrance of the mall. The fire started from a basket and spread.
The pupils were shown how to handle fire extinguishers and how to put out the fire using water. In addition, they were instructed in how to handle different fires such as electric fires and those starting from liquid combustibles and cooking oil which require fire extinguishers containing foam and carbon dioxide.
The children, some of whom had not received first aid instruction in school, were very excited throughout the event as this was a first for them and involved them at every step.
Commenting on the event, the Mayor of Engomi Zacharias Kyriacou said he hoped there would be more such events. NGO director Marios Stavrou said that it was a necessity for people to have this kind of knowledge, and it was a good idea to start with children. A spokesman for the mall said that from their point of view, customers needed to be educated about such incidents, and agreed that educating children was a good step towards this goal.