Category: First aid

The journey so far…


First Aid Convention in Europe (FACE) 2009 is now in full swing and we’re having a great time! I’m writing this in a German Red Cross vehicle using a German keyboard, apologies for any spelling mistakes but it’s quite tricky to get used to.

Today has been the first aid convention; various speakers have been giving talks on the history of first aid and the Movement. There are also loads of stalls and I seem to have acquired a large number of freebies. Nothing beats free Red Cross pens or hats. Later today is the opening ceremony where all the countries parade around the market square in Oldenburg. I admit I’m nervous about this as I have to carry the UK flag which is quite daunting!

The weather is incredibly hot in Oldenburg at the moment and we are suffering slightly. Hopefully it will be slightly cooler for the competition day tomorrow. The competition itself is taking place in the city centre which should be a great opportunity to see Oldenburg, though obviously we’ll probably be more worried about the first aid!

I’ll try and post the results as soon as I know them tomorrow, wish us luck! 🙂

To quiz or not to quiz


…that is the question. So, does anyone fancy having a go at the British Red Cross’ special anniversary quiz, which we launched for Red Cross volunteers and staff last month to celebrate the Movement reaching its 150th birthday?

I’m afraid the winner’s prize of a luxurious weekend for two in Geneva has already been snaffled. However, if you fancy testing your knowledge of our prestigious organisation just for the sheer knowledge-building joy of it, why not have a go at the quiz now and, whatever you do, DON’T LOOK AT THE ANSWERS BELOW.

For those of you have already pitted their wits against our devilish hard questions, the answers you’ve been waiting for are listed below. At last, here’s your chance to say: ‘Yeah, got that one’, ‘Aw no’, ‘Oh, I knew that…’, ‘What sort of stupid answer is that?’ etc.


Germany, here we come!


This Thursday, I will be flying to Germany with five other British Red Cross volunteers. Our mission (should we choose to accept it): win the European first aid competition.

Two first aiders help casualty

First Aid Convention in Europe (FACE) is an annual event that brings together Red Cross volunteers from throughout Europe. The highlight of the event is a competition to find the best team of first aiders in Europe. Last year the convention was held here in Liverpool and I’m sure many people reading this may have been involved.

FACE 2009 is being held in the city of Oldenburg. Twenty-five countries have entered the competition and around 1,000 Red Cross volunteers are expected to attend. I’m lucky enough to be on one of the British Red Cross teams competing for the coveted 1st place trophy. This year, the British Red Cross is sending two teams. One team is from Edinburgh, the other from Surrey (me!). More

Vegans need first aid too


For the past year I’ve challenged myself to have a more vegan diet. It started off as a short-term challenge just to liven up my usual vegetarian meals, to force myself to seek out new recipes, and to wean myself from cheese, chocolate and baked goods. I enjoyed it so much I set myself a new challenge – never to use dairy products at home.

Imagine my shock, then, when I read this blog post from the American Red Cross about vegan bandages. Vegan bandages? What in the world could be in regular bandages that would make them unacceptable to vegans? Cheese? Eggs? More

Volunteer – feel less rubbish!

Leo the wonder volunteerGiven that it’s Volunteers’ Week – and make sure you check out our fabulous new volunteer video – I feel compelled to mention that I volunteered recently. Oh yes. For two whole hours, I stood outside a London train station shaking a bucket forlornly (or fundraising, as it’s also known) while random commuters threw coins in my general direction. It was exhausting.

Thankfully, there are those in the world who have a little more zip and voluntary zeal than myself. Take Finnish wonder-boy Leo Kaipianen, for example, who has just won a Platinum Youth Achievement Award (think the voluntary equivalent of an Olympic gold, Oscar, Nobel Prize etc) for his breath-taking efforts.

Despite English being only his third language, Leo spent a full year trawling all across the North West of our fair country teaching first aid to lots of other younglings – including those with disabilities – at schools and social centres.

On reflection, I really don’t like Leo. He’s one of those annoying over-achievers whose very existence tends to make many of us – who may lead slightly more sedentary lives – feel useless and rubbish. But, if you want to start feeling a bit better, now would be an ideal time to get involved.

First aid for bashed up kids


It's never too early to learn first aid skillsHere’s an idea: ask your friends or work mates to name a memorable injury they incurred as a child. I’ve just spent three minutes asking around in the Red Cross office, and here’s a selection of what I got already:

1. Went clean through a plate glass window aged two.

2. Dad accidentally slammed a car boot door on head.

3. Knocked two front teeth out on playground climbing frame. Ouch.

4. Hospital visit to have a rubber removed from nose.

5. Hands-free cyclist caught flares in pedals of Chopper bike and ended up with a badly gashed mouth. More

I can dress a plastic baby


baby resuscitation manikin and bagIt’s true. You didn’t read that wrong. Last night I discovered how to dress a plastic baby.

Picture the scene. A warm, sunny spring evening. A group of Red Cross volunteers descend on their local centre for their regular Wednesday meeting. But this isn’t any normal Red Cross meeting – this week they got to clean Annies.

“What’s an Annie?” I hear you say. Well, they’re every first aid trainer’s plastic friends, resuscitation manikins designed to help people learn how to perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, or CPR for short. More