Learning Life-saving First Aid Skills

first aid

Have you ever asked yourself how confident you would be if you had give someone first aid in an emergency?

I’ve often asked myself that very question. So I was delighted when the opportunity arose to pop along to a training session being held at the local village pub.

St Andrew’s First Aid says its mission is to create a nation of life-savers through community talks and demonstrations.

A good turnout showed there was a desire to learn.

A worthwhile exercise

The topics the St Andrew’s First Aid volunteers covered included what to do if someone is having a seizure, how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the steps to take in the event of someone choking.

Volunteer Kathleen Hunter talked through the scenarios and answered questions.

The attendees were then divided between Kathleen and her two colleagues – Graham Murray and Stuart Cairns – and given the opportunity to be “hands on” with first aid manikins.

This allowed the group to put into practice the CPR techniques we’d been taught – including how to use a defibrillator.

Everybody who attended felt it was such a worthwhile exercise. Being armed with at least some basic knowledge can only be a good thing!

Kathleen told me she’d been volunteering with St Andrew’s Fist Aid for four years.

“I started as a way of meeting different people and learning new skills,” she says. “It’s something that I really enjoy doing.

“Graham has volunteered with St Andrew’s First Aid for eight years – first as a cadet, then at the age of sixteen becoming a full member.

“Graham wants to eventually become a paramedic, so having a volunteer role such as with St Andrew’s First Aid is obviously a benefit.

“Stuart has been a volunteer with St Andrew’s for two years. He’s also keen to have a career with the emergency services.”

Grab the opportunity

The trio volunteer elsewhere, too. Graham and Kathleen are First Responders with the Scottish Ambulance Service, while Stuart volunteers with Street Assist Edinburgh.

One thing is for sure: with Kathleen, Graham and Stuart around we’re all in safer hands.

And, if you ever get the chance to learn some first aid skills yourself, you should grab the opportunity.

It only takes around an hour of your time, and it could help to save a life.

You can find out more about St Andrew’s First Aid at https://www.firstaid.org.uk/

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Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.