Peter G. Delaney co-founded LFR International with Zachary Eisner based on previous experiences creating lay first responder programs in Uganda and Chad, and they serve as the Executive Director and Operations Director of LFR, respectively. This summer, Delaney, Eisner, and LFR fellow Amanda Yu created a pilot lay first responder program in Makeni, training 1,029 first responders in June and July in half-day courses with the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society and Agency for Rural Community Transformation (ARCT). Additionally, they trained the “special 50,” fifty trainers who will train an additional 3,500 first responders over the next 5 months across Bombali District.
The success of this pilot program will be judged in January. So far, collaborators have found participant first aid knowledge has doubled over the course, measured with survey tests at the beginning and end of sessions, allowing trainers to improve the course and its subsequent effectiveness. These findings will be a valuable guide to expand emergency medical services across Sierra Leone.