Call For More Islanders To Receive First Aid Training

ambulance 4Members of the Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee have called for more islanders to be taught basic first aid.

It followed the revelation at last week’s meeting that ambulance crew won’t start resuscitating a patient if they haven’t received basic life support in the ten minutes before the service arrives.

South Western Ambulance Service’s Martyn Callow said this was a national policy. Martyn said, “Joe Blogs is the one that will save someone’s life in the event of a heart attack, not the ambulance service.”

That came as a surprise to councillors, who felt the remoteness of Scilly, particularly the off-islands, meant ambulance staff could often take some time to respond.

Council vice chair Amanda Martin asked why basic first aid wasn’t on the school curriculum. She felt Scilly would be a natural place for a trial scheme in schools and said a child could mean the difference between life and death in some of our more remote areas.

Council officer Aisling Hick said courses are run regularly at Lifelong Learning but people are often scared to get involved in a medical situation for fear of being sued.

Martyn Callow said that’s highly unlikely as long as people don’t go beyond the scope of their training.

He said he’d take the suggestion about training back to the ambulance service.

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