Members of the Light-Community of the Brotherhood received training for fire emergencies of different kinds and rescue and primary care in accidents. It is important to be prepared and available in unexpected situations.

Martín Aldasoro, the coordinator of the Light-Network of Andacollo in the province of Neuquén, Argentina, conducted the training. He is a teacher, firefighter, nurse, and mountaineer, who has traveled through several countries of South America to provide training on different topics related to rescue and emergencies.

Training proposal

The training took place during October and part of November. It consisted of three fire and three rescue modules in a theoretical and practical format. Three types of fires were worked on: forest, structural, and wildfires. Rescue modules covered several topics: vital signs, ABC, shock, CPR, accident prevention, burns, trauma, poisoning, natural childbirth, and rescue at heights.

Examination of the tools

We conduct a survey of the human and material resources that are available in the Light-Community and its surroundings before starting the training. From there, we carry out a detailed study of these resources, of the tools, and of the capacities and knowledge of the people. It is very important to know the potential that each member of the Light-Community has and what they need to develop and deepen.

“You can read the first aid in a book, you can see the technique of fire in a video in a YouTube, but the person must overcome his/her fears, his/her life history, his/her “I cannot”, “I am not capable for this”, “I do not dare”. That is a very deep inner process that the person has to overcome”, comments Martín.

Teamwork Development

The training was divided into modules with different topics to go deeper into each one of them. Each community member received safety clothing to perform the exercises and position themselves more appropriately for the various emergencies proposed. There were drills of accidents, floods, and fires of all kinds, which helped everyone to experience those possible situations that anyone can face at some point in their lives.

Victoria, a permanent member of the Light-Community who participated in the training, tells us: “The training was accurate and very practical, with real situations, of all kinds, that one can face at any moment. In each drill, we learned to work together and use the materials correctly to meet the needs. It was very productive, and now all that remains is to continue deepening and practicing.”

Some relevant aspects that came along with these pieces of training were: maintaining calm, serenity, and neutrality in any situation. Also, they highlighted the importance of calling the emergency services and collaborating. Thus, when the teams of trained professionals arrive, they could find a more controlled and directed situation to make everything go more smoothly.

Group Response

The topics we discuss in groups generate different reactions in the participating members. Each member has their own life experiences and way of reacting to unexpected or risky situations. However, Martín tells us that he saw a very positive response from everyone: “People attended, were open, did not make excuses, made the best effort, asked questions, and that was something valuable to be able to carry out the group work.”

 And he continues: “Asking questions is always an opportunity to go deeper, even when the questions are about questioning… When you look at it in greater depth, you realize that the person is asking for more information to solve a mental or emotional conflict they have in a specific situation. When you address it correctly, they can solve it and move on”.

The value of the implemented instruction

Martin tells us about a shared moment during one of the fire modules in which a group dealt with an emergency at night:

“For me, it was very satisfying to watch from far away the group performance during a night training session. The people who were part of each team had no idea of what was going on at a general level. I felt great joy when I watched them operate in each team that we organized and in each situation that arose. When I watched how the person designated as “commander” was assigning the tasks to each one and handing over the tools, I felt the joy of an accomplished task.”

And he continues: “There were enough human resources here to generate such an outcome.

The group organized and coordinated tasks to show that it is possible to operate in very complex situations”.

Sustaining what is already built

Each member of the Community also collaborated in the maintenance of the tools and the setting up of a specific space for emergency material. These tasks continue after the received instruction. Members of the Light-Community proposed that weekly, a member may check that everything is in order and available for any emergency that may arise.

In addition, the initial idea is to review monthly some of the topics dealt with to refresh the instructions received. Also, to train all members to use essential tools, such as the chainsaw, the generator, the motor pump, etc., and the correct handling of the vehicles.

Serving out of love

When we asked Martin what the group would be qualified to do after the training, he answered bluntly: “To LOVE. Serving in an emergency is simply an act of love. I always say that firefighters’ associations do not exist to put out fires, deal with rescues and emergencies or accidents. They exist so people can manifest the love that is in them. It has to be an act of love. If you can’t love, you’re not going to be able to face all the fears, the cold, the night, the scorching heat.”

He continues: ” The key is in love. Wherever you want to be a hero, it doesn’t work. You have to love the burning nature, the child at risk, and the partner next to you.

We may feel important and valuable, but none of us is essential, and instead we all together are a team, the act of love is fulfilled”.