How's Your First Aid?
6th May 2010
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Whether you're an individual or business, knowing First Aid could make all the difference to someone - you could quite literally be a life-saver.

One of the obvious organisations dealing with First Aid is of course the St John Ambulance. There are details on their website for courses in your area, free First Aid guides, plus general advice on First Aid and emergency medical treatment.

There are both happy tales of people whose lives were saved by someone who knew what to do, and tragic stories of those who weren't so lucky. I know what I'd rather be in an emergency - calm and knowledgeable, rather than panic-striken and helpless.

When I was about 12 years old, a motorcyclist had an accident outside our house. Several neighbours went out to help, including myself. He was lying in the road, conscious but obviously in agony, and the little huddle of adults around him started trying to "make him more comfortable" - they straightened him up, removed his helmet in order to place a cushion under his head - all the time he was screaming "My leg! My leg!" and I was calling to them to leave his helmet on. I was only 12 however, what did I know - these 'experienced' adults all ignored me and I ended up clearing bits of motorbike off the road to allow traffic to pass.

We later heard that his leg was broken in several places and luckily he had no injury to his head - but how were the passers-by to know that? Not one of them followed First Aid practice, all were well-meaning, all of them put him further at risk. And I was only 12 - what did I know? A darn sight more than them as it turns out.

It's well worth getting trained up - since you were last near any First Aid training, techniques and advice could have moved on and developed, and how much detail can you actually remember?

The Red Cross run First Aid courses across the country; check out their website for more information on courses near you in and around Canterbury.

Canterbury College also run several First Aid courses, detailed in part on this website page.
I found this page by Googling 'Canterbury first aid courses', as their website's a little more complex to find all the First Aid courses using their own search engines within the site!

Businesses all need to ensure they have a qualified First Aider on the staff, so it might be worth volunteering for that. Or if you are the business owner, make sure you're compliant with current regulations by checking out the Health and Safety Executive website.


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Ben Jackson is a freelance writer and photographer with The Little White Studio.

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