accessibility & help

Volunteer raced to help Tunisia attack victims

1 July 2015

A man being bandaged

A first aid volunteer has described racing to help people caught in Friday’s lethal shootings in Tunisia.

Speaking to the BBC, Tunisian Red Crescent volunteer Wassim Jouma said: “It was horrible. When we came to the beach there were bodies everywhere.”

“I am trained for accidents, for normal accidents like road traffic accidents. But this kind of attack, this is the first time we found something like this.

“We left our centre with very little info – we didn’t know how many people were injured, how many had died. We got some information on the radio but we didn’t know – is it six people, eight, ten? Even when we reached the beach we didn’t know.”

Red Cross societies around the world rely on volunteers such as Wassim helping people in their own local area.

When a disaster or emergency happens, these volunteers are already nearby – and often the first to arrive on the scene.

“People ran to the sea”

Wassim continued: “We did an assessment on the beach to see who was still alive, who we could help. Then we checked who was in the sea, who was in the hotels, because many people ran to the sea or the hotels when it happened.”

He spoke about the fear the violence had brought.

“There are 11million people in Tunisia, we are all injured by this attack – it will affect tourism, our security, our lives.”

  • If you’ve been affected by the attack in Tunisia call our support line on +44 (0)20 3417 0260, open 8am to 8pm.
  • See how you could help people in crisis as a Red Cross volunteer.

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