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Latest news
Belmont, Perth,
24
October
2016

Snake bite training to reach 35,000 WA school students

Phil Martin, St John Event Health Services General Manager
“WA is renowned for our venomous snakes so it makes sense that all West Aussie kids know how to correctly treat a snake bite. As the State’s leading first aid provider, St John will take the demonstration to any school anywhere in Western Australia.”
Phil Martin, St John Event Health Services General Manager

With snake sightings expected to surge with the onset of warmer weather, St John Ambulance WA wants to teach 35,000 school students how to treat snake bites before they head on summer holidays.

120 people were bitten by snakes in WA last year, with a 75-year-old woman dying from a suspected snake bite at South Beach. Just last month, two people were bitten by snakes in the Pilbara.

Snakes are most common in bush and grassy areas, in particular near water such as rivers, lakes and even beach dunes.

The St John Ambulance Snake Bites first aid demonstration is aimed at showing school students the basic first aid skills required to correctly treat a snake bite.

St John Event Health Services General Manager Phil Martin said the organisation is providing the first aid session free to all schools across the State.

“The demo only takes 10 minutes so it won’t disrupt the school day, but what kids learn in those 10 minutes could one day help them to save the life of a friend or family member,” said Mr Martin. 

“WA is renowned for our venomous snakes so it makes sense that all West Aussie kids know how to correctly treat a snake bite. As the State’s leading first aid provider, St John will take the demonstration to any school anywhere in Western Australia.”

Mr Martin said it is important that everyone in WA knows to call triple zero (000) immediately if you suspect someone has been bitten by a snake, even if you’re unsure of the snake type.

“Time is of the essence when someone has been bitten by a snake and it’s vital the patient receives life-saving medical assistance as soon as possible.

“While waiting for paramedics to arrive, keep the patient still and calm, lay them flat and wrap a bandage around the wound before applying a pressure bandage, starting from the extremities of the limb, wrapping towards the body.

“Snake bite symptoms can include headache, impaired vision, nausea, drowsiness and difficulty breathing, speaking or swallowing, so keep a close eye on the patient until the ambulance arrives.”

For schools and teachers wanting to find out more about the St John Ambulance Snake Bites first aid demonstration, call 9334 1259 or email firstaidfocus@stjohnambulance.com.au to register your school or request further information.

All participating schools will be provided with a free snake bite treatment pack.

-ENDS-