Health: Innovation Award

‘Gh. Asachi’ County Library Iasi offers a nation-wide First Aid and health education service

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Library trainees practise using the First Aid dummy.
Library trainees practise using the First Aid dummy.

The innovative service

When Eurostat figures showed that one in three people involved in serious accidents in Romania dies through lack of First Aid treatment, librarians at ‘Gh. Asachi’ County Library Iași decided that something had to be done. 

They approached the Red Cross, who provided free certified First Aid training to three librarians. The three librarians then created a website with an online training course and resources for further learning. With a small grant (US$2,500) from Biblionet Romania, they bought a high-tech First Aid dummy to use for demonstrations and some training materials. The First Aid Toolkit was ready for action.

In just one year, the service trained 90 librarians in 86 libraries across Romania. The libraries trained over 2,000 people to administer First Aid.

Big hearts make things work

All activities are carried out by volunteers, who pay their own travel, communication and other small costs. The Red Cross, the head of the ER Hospital in Iași and doctors of the Iași Ambulance Department and the librarians all volunteer for the service, providing training and expertise. The library says – it’s the big hearts that make things work. 

‘I saved my nephew’s life!’

EMERGENCY AID: Library volunteer demonstrates the  Heimlich Maneuver, which saves people from choking.

Carmen Pasat a teacher at High School ‘Miron Crostin’ told the library her story:

“One Sunday afternoon, my youngest nephew was misbehaving at lunch, crying and refusing to swallow his soup. Suddenly, he started making a suspicious noise… we realized he was choking!

“I immediately remembered all the details of the Heimlich Maneuver (a method of preventing choking). I gathered my strength. I put my arms around his chest and strongly compressed his sternum. I repeated the action twice. His face had become blue – but after the Maneuver, he started coughing and his colour changed. When the ambulance came, the doctor congratulated me.”

more libraries contributing to community health

Read about more innovative public libraries that are helping to build healthy communities. PLIP-HEALTH

From the bottom of my heart, I thank the library that taught me how to save somebody’s life!
Carmen Pasat, teacher at High School ‘Miron Costin’