The Big First Aid Lesson


It takes over when it’s required.  When life throws something at you, your body goes through the motions of righting what’s gone wrong.

I’ve seen my fair share of road accidents happen.  It’s hard not to come across a situation like that in London unfortunately.  I have the inability to walk away or not stop my car and make sure the person is ok- an action I hope everyone would do.  And I’m certainly no saint for doing it.

I’ve sat on a busy London road with a motorcyclist.  Keeping him warm in the middle of winter with my coat across his body, while we waited for the ambulance, making sure traffic could see us.  Insisting he not move from his laying down position.  I’ve run across roads to pick up mobile phones that have been thrown in the heat of a crash, and called relatives to let them know what’s going on and where to meet their loved ones.  I’ve been that anonymous person with a cheery disposition to stop panic from setting in, and attempting to keep the person talking.  I’m the 999 caller.

I do these things, as anyone would because we would hope in a similar situation the same would be done for us or our loved ones.  Human’s naturally care.

Luckily I’ve never been in the situation where someones gone unconscious on me.  It’s a situation I’ve always feared, because I wouldn’t want to hinder a person’s chance at survival because I happened to be the one that was sat with them.

But I’ve often thought, one day there might be that one person that needs me and requires those skills.  Whether that’s a stranger or a loved one I’ve often found myself wanting to learn the skills needed to save a life.

And today I did just that courtesy of St. John Ambulance.


In under two hours I learnt how to deal with choking in babies and in adults.  While I often thought my son frequently choked when he was younger– it turns out he wasn’t.  Choking is in fact completely silent.  Knowing how to deal with it properly makes me feel more at ease over what needs to be done.  Three minutes is all you have to deal with this issue before brain damage occurs.  180 seconds.


I can now give CPR- again to both babies and adults.  And wouldn’t feel scared or unsure about using a defibrillator if there was one near by and a person I was tending to had gone into cardiac arrest.

We also learnt about minor injuries too.

On leaving the premises I had to question why I’d put off learning such important information for so long.  It’s been decades really since I first wanted to learn it.  Time gets in the way.  Life gets in the way.  But those two things can be given back to someone who needs it, for just a few hours of your time.

I’m hoping that by the time my Son gets to school age, there will be a change to the national curriculum and first aid will be included.  It’s such a vital thing to learn.  As it stands it currently isn’t on the curriculum, but actually 87% of parents feel their children should be taught basic first aid at school.

Not to be defeated, St. John Ambulance are hosting a free, one hour, online first aid lesson hosted by Claudia Winkleman, which will be streamed to classrooms on the 12th June.


They want to encourage parents of 7-16 year olds, to get behind them and back the The Big First Aid Lesson by speaking to their child’s school and telling them about the campaign.  Currently there are 1000 schools signed up with over 130,000 children who will be tuned in to watch the live webinar.

The school only needs an internet connection and a white wall or whiteboard to join in, and the students will walk away learning how to confidently deal with head injuries, asthma attacks and anaphylactic shocks.  Some of the most common first aid issues for children.

Many may think a child won’t need to learn these things at a young age, but actually St John Ambulance will be showing case studies where children have actually stepped in to save lives.  10-year-old Bethany Simpson received first aid training at her school, and a week later she was putting it into practice when she gave CPR to her Stepfather.  She was solely responsible for keeping him alive before the ambulance arrived after her Mother went into a state of shock.

First aid is something a child should have at their disposal.  Learning first aid can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.

If you have school aged children, even if yours are too young to join in please do talk to your child’s school and make sure they know this campaign is running and actively encourage them to join in by registering here.



  1. You are amazing and so brave. I was in a major car accident in India in 2009 so can completely relate to those that you helped and stayed with. I went on a first aid course for babies at our local children’s centre and though it raised awareness around things like choking I still wouldn’t have a clue how to perform CPR! I’m definitely going to look in to this – I love how you put your life/time sentiment – it’s so true. x

    • It really is worth learning. It’s actually made me want to go and learn more. I’ve been looking up St John Ambulance courses in my area. I can’t imagine how awful it must be for the person the accident happens to- like you’ve experienced. I just hope that when I’m with someone I help them keep calm until they get the help they need. xx

  2. Great post, decision – & life skill move LondonMum! Something which has also stood me in good stead in the past. To be able to help & know that you have the trained ability & confidence to help somebody in an emergency certainly has the ‘feel good’ factor eh? Onwards LondonMum! Great ‘official’ news.

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