News Release

Church Provided Emergency First Aid Training to Steung Trang District Officers

First-time training for first responders

As President Russel M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, finished his first ever visit to Cambodia, a team of Church sponsored senior missionaries with medical background was preparing to open a new era of medical training in Cambodia. This training was designed for police officers and other first responders in the Steung Trang District.

One senior police officer, as he completed this training, shared his gratitude with the vice-governor by saying:

“I’ve been a police officer for over 30 years and I’ve never had any training on how to help someone who is hurt. Thank you for helping us to help our community.“

On November 21-27, 2019, senior missionaries Elder Steven Lewis, MD and his nurse wife Sister Vickie Lewis and Elder James Taylor, MD and his wife Sister Annette Taylor as they hosted over 250 Cambodian police officers and health care workers in the Stueng Trang District of Cambodia. With the support of the District Vice-governor Mr. Vorn Vy, most of these first responders received their first-ever emergency response training. Each day approximately 50 police officers and health care workers participated in the eight-hour training sessions.


There is no emergency medical system in Cambodia and bystanders are not permitted to assist those injured in an accident. Local police officers are often the first to respond at the scene of an accident who are permitted to provide assistance. Thus, there is a critical need to provide police officers with emergency first aid training so they can aid those injured in accidents.

The training that was provided in these sessions was designed to provide basic first aid skills for police officers and health care workers. Most or all who attend have never received any training on how to help victims in a trauma situation.

The training focused on four major goals:

  1. Trauma assessment and treatment
  2. Basic life support
  3. Use of basic first aid equipment
  4. Equipping each trainee with an emergency first aid bag

The basic life support skills for first responders focused on how to preserve life at the scene of an accident and included CPR, assistance for a choking victim, splinting, and control of bleeding. At the completion of their training, each participant received a certificate of completion as well as a personal emergency first aid bag.


All who have participated in this training effort hope that the practical training will have a positive impact in providing accident victims with the emergency first aid that may alleviate suffering and help save lives.

The Emergency First Aid Training project is part of the Church sponsored Cambodia Health Care Improvement Effort (CHIE). For further information on this and other efforts that are part of the project, see the article from the Deseret News by Tad Walch.

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