Category: First aid

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

'First aid' Cambodian style


A year ago while volunteering in Cambodia, I found myself carefully removing a makeshift dressing from a young boy’s deeply cut foot, which was made from, of all things, tree leaves.

With no money for or access to proper bandages, many residents of Sihanoukville, where I was staying, apply wads of foliage to cuts in the hope they will heal and not get infected and turn septic.


Why I became a first aider


I know every first aider up and down the country has their own reasons for becoming a first aider. I thought now would be a good opportunity to tell you mine.

It was September 2003. For quite a while I’d realised that I didn’t want to be in a situation where somebody needed first aid and not be able to help. So I decided to take a first aid course at the earliest possible opportunity. More