Standing Rock Residents Train for Emergencies

An emergency can happen anywhere, any time, and in remote tribal communities, help may be slow to respond. One way that Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) helps is by training residents in First Aid, AED, and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Our instructor, Harold, recently led a training session in Fort Yates, North Dakota, offered through PWNA’s Northern Plains Reservation Aid (NPRA) program. 40 people, including 39-year-old Honorata of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, are now prepared to help their families and their communities in a crisis.

Standing Rock Residents Train for Emergencies

An emergency can happen anywhere, any time, and in remote tribal communities, help may be slow to respond. One way that Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) helps is by training residents in First Aid, AED, and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Our instructor, Harold, recently led a training session in Fort Yates, North Dakota, on the Standing Rock Reservation, offered through PWNA’s Northern Plains Reservation Aid (NPRA) program. 40 people became certified in CERT by completing 17.5 hours of classroom training and a 2-hour disaster simulation.

66-year-old Candace attended the training to learn CPR. She told us, “This is a very interesting program. I learned quite a bit.”

68-year-old Bernita is a retired banker who learned CPR back when she attended technical school. She was glad for updated training so that she could help her daughter with her health issues.

CPR Instructor Johnathan told the group that there are constant emergencies on the reservation. He told them, “By stepping up and being a CERT team member, you join the chain of survival. When we call 911 the response time depends on where you’re at. There are two ambulance bases on the reservation, which spans 2.3 million acres. With few resources, help could be an hour or more away.

Johnathan shared a training video with the group, which outlined these important points:

  • In the United States, the average response time for an ambulance is 4-10 minutes
  • Survival rates can drop to 10% every minute without CPR

Our trainer Harold was born on the Standing Rock Reservation and said he was proud to see all the new people getting emergency medical training. He shared, “It makes me feel better that you all are trained to help my family and relatives here.”

39-year-old Honorata of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe previously worked as an EMT but was glad to have a refresher on best practices in an emergency. She noted that the reservation sees higher trauma rates than major cities. While there is a small hospital in Fort Yates, she noted that the facility is not equipped to handle major injuries.

Honorata said of PWNA, “I’m so glad they offer this training. I’m sure they didn’t expect this many to show up, but people recognize this is needed. This is a wonderful way to help us organize ourselves, because unfortunately, there’s a reason why MMIW has become a movement in Indian Country. It’s something we can’t ignore, and it’s better to be prepared and know how to do these types of things. 2.3 million acres is a large area to search when someone is missing. The more educated we are, the better we can ensure that people are found quicker.”

The National Crime Statistics Exchange released a 2019 study showing that in the Bakken oil-producing region of North Dakota, reports of aggravated assault against Native women increased by 70%.

Your donation to NPRA helps Elders like Candace and Bernita as well as residents like Honorata who want to help their community as best they can.

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