Why I volunteered to be a First Aider at work.

Whilst I was off on annual leave my boss had sent an email out asking if anyone would like to be the department's first aider.  Now, bearing in mind there are 3 others in my department who have young children I figured at least one of those would have jumped at the chance - after all, accidents don't just happen at work!


When I returned I asked my boss who had volunteered and he informed me that no one had (my boss being one of those who has young children).  But why not?  I don't fancy the idea of giving mouth-to-mouth to these people, but I would very much like the confidence to deal with a choking child or know how to calmly dress and bandage a wound before going into blind panic..........

For me, I volunteered with a bigger picture in mind, my family, and my friends.  I want to be shown how to deal with a situation without freezing - I don't fight or flight apparently - I freeze - great stress response that is!

So I set off for my 3-day course and learnt about CPR, burns, wounds, choking, etc.  I learnt that as a first aider, we do not panic, we do what we can, we do what is needed and no more, we will not be sued, we will use the AED with confidence as it is the defibrillator that will give your casualty a great chance of survival!

I spent three days performing CPR on Resusci Annie and it's bloody knackering.  I used bandage after bandage on rather yucky fake wounds and I learnt about heart attacks, sprains and strains.  I found it valuable information to take back to work with me but more importantly, to have as a life skill for my family, God forbid should I need it.

I would recommend this course to every parent, it's a daunting thought and quite possibly the reason why employees do not volunteer?  It is daunting, but wouldn't you rather be scared and able to help than scared and freeze?

I found this piece on Medical News today - and up until my First Aid course - I got the answer wrong!

"When faced with a man thrown off his motorbike and not breathing, 42% of respondents said they'd know what to do and then described the wrong thing. Of these, 43% said they would not move him for fear of spinal injury, yet he will die if he's not breathing and does not receive CPR".

What would you do?


  1. Good on you. I used to have to be a first aider in my job but always saw it as a positive thing. Richard is at his work and when he discovered there wasn't a coordinated approach to first aid he took it on as his responsiblity to check on first aid kits, ensure enough first aiders in each area and introducing cpr machines too. Hopefully you will never need to use it but at least you have the confidence to know what to do. X

    1. Thanks Rebecca, good on Richard for taking the initiative. Such an important life skill. x


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