first aid training

The secret to surviving a severed hand

Photograph: BBC Wales News

When Edryd Jones accidentally power-sawed off his own hand, he thought it was curtains. But he had a secret weapon: quick-thinking neighbours.

It sounds like something from a shlock-horror movie.

Late last year, retired teacher Edryd Jones was cutting through wooden planks in his bedroom as part of a DIY project, when the unthinkable happened.

He told The Guardian: “I didn’t realise my hand had gone until I went to pick up a piece of wood and it wasn’t there. It was on the floor. I thought I was going to bleed to death.” More

Attack of the choking Chinese chicken

Choking-man-BLOGIt sounds like an old joke: what do you get when you cross a Chinese restaurant, a choking diner and a first aid trainer? But luckily, this tale had a happy punchline.

Timing, they say, is everything.

And certainly, if you start choking in public, there are few better times to be sitting opposite a first aid trainer.

Over the years, Sara Hodges has taught literally hundreds of people life-saving skills – including how to help someone who’s choking.

So when her friend, who was facing her in a crowded Chinese restaurant, suddenly took on a surprised look and stopped speaking, she knew exactly what was wrong. More

Cupid strikes at first aid course

Valentine-first-aiders-BLOGHeart rates were racing for all the right reasons when lovebirds Michael and Aurelia first clocked eyes on each other at one of our first aid courses.

Sometimes, love can blossom in the unlikeliest of places.

When Michael turned up for a three-day first aid at work course in 2011, he was ready to roll up his sleeves and learn all about burns, bumps and bandages.

What he didn’t expect was a beautiful French girl to come zooming along on her scooter. But it turned out Aurelia had also been sent along by her company. More

‘I saved my lovely baby’s life’

Baby-lifesaver-Lucy-Smith-BLOGMum really does know best, it seems. Lucy Smith resolved to learn baby first aid while she was pregnant, and it turned out to be the best decision she ever made.

I’d always planned to make learning first aid part of my preparation for motherhood. It just seemed to make sense.

So when I was 14 weeks pregnant, my husband and I attended a Mothercare event for expectant parents.

We were both really eager to go along since the event featured a British Red Cross baby first aid session. More

Black Friday: how to survive it

Xmas-shopping-crowd-BLOGThe Thanksgiving shopping bonanza is the latest American import to reach these shores – but who knew getting a bargain could be such dangerous work?

They came; they saw; they had a dust-up.

As the clock struck twelve last night, thousands of ravenous bargain-hunters crammed themselves into Britain’s stores – closely followed by scores of police officers.

While speakers rang out with Tis the season to be jolly, numerous scuffles and punch-ups erupted in the aisles as shoppers jostled for heavily discounted goods. More

Dogs of war: the first aiders on four legs

DOGS-gas-mask-houndsDuring the First World War, the British Red Cross got lots of help from an unlikely quarter. As Armistice Day approaches, we sniff around for the full story.

At first, it sounds like a particularly far-fetched episode of Lassie.

A dog, you say, carrying first aid supplies through the whizzing bombs and flying bullets of no man’s land? And all to reach and save wounded soldiers? It sounds preposterous. But it’s true – every word of it. More

Cardiac arrest runner gets lucky escape

Sean-Deans-BLOG

Sean Deans with first aid volunteers David Hart and Steven Gay. PIC: Alasdair MacLeod

When a young athlete collapsed at the end of a half-marathon, our cool-headed volunteers saved his life.

It was only as he crossed the finish line that Sean Deans realised all might not be well.

The 29-year-old, who had just completed the Great Scottish Run, recalled: “I just felt as if I needed to catch my breath. Next thing I know, I woke up in an ambulance.”

It turns out the army reservist had suffered cardiac arrest. As he lay there on the ground in Glasgow, he actually ceased breathing and his heart stopped. There seemed little hope. More

First aid volunteer: ‘there’s nothing like it’

Graham-Baker-BLOG2Having a good laugh one minute, then saving someone’s life in the back of an ambulance the next? Graham Baker lifts the lid on his life as a first aid volunteer.

Whenever you go to a big event, such as a festival, you’ll probably notice there’s always a few first aiders and a couple of ambulances there.

They deal with all the things that can go wrong on a fun day out – heatstroke, too much drink, cuts, bruises – and occasionally real emergencies. More