Are you a First Aider? Something to think about.

By Stephen Kellett
1 June, 2010

This weekend I attended a music convention in the UK.

Something happened on Sunday morning that made me re-assess if I should be a qualified First-Aider.
This post isn’t about software, but all the same it most likely applies to your workplace and quite possibly your private life.

What happened on Sunday? A gentleman I’d be talking with the evening before had a heart attack. People rushed around the campsite and surrounding buildings shouting “Medical Emergency! If you are a doctor, nurse or first aider please go to the main hall immediately”. I was in the campsite at the time. Your first thought is “What has happened?”, followed by “I’m not trained, I can’t help”. It was at that point I knew that I could do nothing to help whoever was in need of help. Its a horrible feeling. You don’t know who is ill, you most likely know who they are and you can’t help.

As it happened there was a doctor (a general practitioner) on site as well as a first aider that had done his training 20 years earlier. An ambulance arrived in short order and after some work resuscitating him they took him to hospital where he underwent appropriate treatment for the heart attack. Hopefully all will be well with him.

Over the remainder of the weekend over the course of various conversations it became clear that just about everyone had come to the same conclusion: Everyone really disliked the powerlessness of being unable to help and quite a few were considering getting themselves trained as a first aider so that they’d be suitably skilled should something happen again.

In the past I’d always been reluctant to consider getting qualified as a first aider. Not because I didn’t want to be nominated but more because I didn’t want to do the training. I can’t quite explain it – I think I had some embarrassment about the training you have to do with the dummy body. That and combined with the “it won’t happen near me” delusion – I deluded myself I’d never have any use for the training. How wrong I was.

Anyway, none of that matters now. I know if I’d be trained I could have helped and may have been of some assistance on Sunday. That would have counted. So I’m going to get some first aider training and encourage my colleagues to do so. How about you?

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