First Aid to First Aid
First Aid is advertised as a defense course, but it is only casually connected with the other branches of Civilian Defense, which are brought together by the A.R.P. training course. Courses in bandaging and artificial respiration have been started in all the Houses, but the lack of an overall organizational scheme has forced each House group to carry on under its own power as best it can.
At present, First Aid is nominally under the supervision of the Hygiene Building, which has been too busy to devote much time to it. If a bomb drops on the First Aid headquarters in Leverett House, should the headquarters be moved to another room in the House, or to the already prepared room in Lowell House? The Medical Department has refused to state definitely whether patients should be moved or whether First Aid workers should invariably wait for the doctor's arrival. The Hygiene Building has not prescribed definite remedies or precautions for definite injuries, leaving it to the discretion of the local units. No one is sure who should be done if it can't be reached.
There are several things that can be done to shape this vague, indefinite assembly of individuals and small groups into a smooth-running organization. It could be placed in direct connection with Air Raid Wardens, the Fire-Fighters and the spotters, all responsible to the Precinct Warden. The First Aid groups in the Houses should be coordinated, and should meet as soon as possible with Dr. Bok or some representative of the medical department. The various units should receive equipment and definite, uniform instructions.
The air raid drill last week in which every warden at college was away is an example of what could happen. Unless every man knows his job and unless all duties are coordinated, Harvard is going to find itself helpless when the attack comes. Such conditions made for Pearl Harbor and the bungling of production under the O.P.M.