Read the testimony of two trainers of St John Ambulance in Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka, 24. August 2018

All pictures by St John Ambulance England and The Islands

Two trainers of St John Ambulance England and the Islands, Tony Bainbridge and Richard Salter, made the 5,000 mile trip to Sri Lanka to deliver a ‘Train the trainer’ project. The project was sponsored by the Venerable Order of St John. They trained the St John Ambulance Sri Lanka’s trainers to deliver their own first aid training programmes for St John Cadets and other school-based programmes, and to update their knowledge, skills and attitudes on teaching methods for children. 

It was both an exciting and an informative trip, as reported below by Richard Salter on his blog.


 “On Saturday 28 July, we started final preparations for the 5-day course. We travelled in a ‘tuk tuk’ for our first visit to National Headquater (NHQ) to view our training room and to set up. Their NHQ is more basic than ours but has the basic requirements for a great week. We later met up with Sachiru, the training manager in Sri Lanka to discuss the course over some food. The 5-day train the trainer course started on Sunday 29 July. We covered basic topics, from Ice breakers to ground rules, and room layouts. Since most of the trainers have been with St John International for about 10 to 50 years, our focus was to update their skills. Not all the trainers could speak English, so we had a dedicated translator who translated all we said into the two languages of Sri Lanka (Sinhala and Tamil).” 


“The second day was focused on learner motivation, risk assessments and use of resources. In one activity, we gave the students some balloons and asked them to come up with different ways of using the balloons as a resource in the classroom. We had some great responses including homemade CPR manikins! We gave them time at the end of the session to prepare first aid lessons they will be required to deliver for the next two days. To finish the day, we were invited to drinks at the Golf Club with the Commander of St John Sri Lanka.” 


“By the third and fourth days, our trainees had started to deliver 15-minute lessons from their new first aid manual. The new first aid manual, which we produced alongside the Sri Lanka team was issued at the beginning of the course. We gave an example lesson on CPR and AED, as AEDs are not as common in Sri Lanka. We also showed them how to clean the CPR manikins and change the lungs as they were all mouldy!”

“On the final day of the course, we issued multiple choice questionnaires to our trainees to assess adequate knowledge of the new first aid manual. Only a few were asked to retake their training assessments. After a demo of Cas Sim, we presented the certificates of attendance and went for a celebratory dinner to wrap things up on a high note.”