Connect with us


Phuket Opinion: Life-saving skills, English to the rescue



Juan Burana, 37, came from Surin to work in Phuket in 1995. He has been a Kusoldharm Foundation volunteer since 2003 and has worked as a rescue worker in Patong for the past four years.

Here, he talks about what tourists can do to stay safe and what Kusoldharm can do to improve the skills of their staff and help save lives.

PHUKET: In Patong, most of our calls are traffic accidents and most of the time the victims are tourists.

I think one reason tourists have accidents is because they are not familiar with driving in Thailand. Even simple factors, such as driving on the left side of the road, causes problems. Many tourists drive on the right side in their home country. For this reason I strongly suggest that before visitors rent a vehicle they learn traffic laws and become familiar with how locals drive.

A lot of the accident victims I’ve treated weren’t wearing helmets. Everyone should wear a helmet every time they ride a motorbike, and use a seat belt when they are in a car.

Another way to stay safe is to not drink and drive. If visitors want to party and drink, I recommend they choose a place near their hotel so that they can walk home afterward.

In my experience, many foreigners with minor injuries don’t want to be treated at the hospital. They think they can take care of themselves. However, they really should get checked by a doctor because sometimes there is more to an injury than the eyes can see.

At Kusoldharm, we have two kinds of staff. The “white shirt” staff are those with first-aid training. The “blue shirt” staff are volunteers without complete first-aid training who help us by doing things such as driving and carrying stretchers. The white shirt staff are the only ones allowed to administer first aid, so one of them must always be on standby.

The government provides first-aid training, but we need more. Right now, the course is offered only once a year, and not always in Phuket. Sometimes it’s in another province – in Trang or Haad Yai, for example.

I’d like to see the course offered in Phuket every year. When it’s in another province, we sometimes can’t send anyone, because we don’t have enough trained personnel standing by here in Phuket.

Accidents happen every day.

And I’d like to see refresher courses offered, so we can continually improve our skills. Finally, I’d like to see courses for our volunteers so they can get primary first-aid skills. If we do these things, we will be better able to help people.

We also need more English language training – sometimes when I help a foreigner I can’t understand what they want, or can’t understand when they describe their pain.

It would be great if we got support from the government with English classes especially for those of us in Patong who have to communicate regularly with foreigners.

We also need to keep in mind that with the Asean Economic Community (AEC) trade regulations coming into effect in 2015, more foreigners will come to Phuket. This is another reason we need to upgrade our English language skills.

If we can communicate well, we can help foreigners more quickly and maybe even reduce the number of deaths.

— Saran Mitrarat


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Video14 hours ago

Siam Paragon Bangkok International Fashion Week 2022

Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Flash flooding to hit every region of Thailand

Thailand16 hours ago

Off-duty officer fires shots & fights with Bangkok cabbie

Sponsored24 hours ago

Starting a business and obtaining SMART Visa in Thailand is easy with Startup Booster

Thailand16 hours ago

Venomous snake emerges from parcel at sorting office in Thailand

Technology17 hours ago

Line Man Wongnai now Thailand’s largest tech startup

Thailand17 hours ago

Customer buys brand new Honda PCX motorbike with coins in eastern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Drugs18 hours ago

Drug chase ends in flipped car, 6 million spilled Yaba pills

Thailand18 hours ago

169 Thai police officers dismissed for serious violations

World18 hours ago

Edward Snowden received Russian citizenship

Thailand19 hours ago

American told to stop riding go-kart in Chiang Mai

Thailand19 hours ago

Thailand legalises abortion up to 20 weeks

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 hours ago

Nasal spray to prevent Covid hits stores October 1

Crime20 hours ago

China backs Philippines online gambling crackdown

Crime20 hours ago

Foreign gang allegedly extorts Russian couple of crypto worth US$50k in Thailand

Events22 hours ago

Meatfest will host meat cooking and eating contests in Pattaya

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11