Street Medics Austin (SMA) is no stranger to lending a hand where it’s most needed, and this Monday was no exception. Teaming up with Side by Side Kids (SBSK), an invaluable community resource for economically disadvantaged families in Austin, we made strides toward empowering the younger generation with critical knowledge on first aid and safety.
Our journey started with SBSK, a faith-based afterschool program that has a commendable track record of success—98% of its students graduate to the next grade level—in the Austin community. Through their collaborative efforts, hundreds of students are served in the public schools throughout the city of Austin, every day. SMA was honored to join in this pursuit of education and community upliftment.
The event consisted of a one-hour interactive class designed for 6 to 11 year olds. The young students were engaged and enthusiastic during the 30-minute Q&A-driven lesson, with topics ranging from safe scene assessment for first aid, managing severe allergies, to handling heat-related injuries. But the learning didn’t stop there.
The last half of our session saw kids dive into a hands-on activity – building their own first aid kits to take home. SMA and SBSK jointly bore the cost of the first aid kits, ensuring that each participant left not only with newfound knowledge but also the tools they’ll need to act on it.
And while learning about controlling bleeding, treating burns, and addressing nosebleeds is serious business, the session was not devoid of smiles and laughter. Watching the kids enthusiastically pick their favorite bandage colors for their kits was a delightful sight, injecting some light-hearted fun into the learning process.
A chuckle-worthy and rather endearing moment occurred when quite a few ice packs were activated before making it home. While unintended, it served as a practical, hands-on experience of how to activate an ice pack—a valuable lesson wrapped in a fun memory.
We also have exciting news for the future. This collaboration with SBSK isn’t a one-time event. We hope to extend this training to other SBSK camps and provide CPR and more advanced first aid training to the camp staff and volunteers in the future.Looking ahead, SMA is eager to continue joining forces with organizations like Side by Side Kids, infusing our city with knowledge, safety, and a sense of community. We firmly believe that together, we can prepare our younger generation for the unpredictable, equipping them with the skills they need to be the potential lifesavers of tomorrow.