New courses to learn skills for life-saving

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DATES have been set to give Spalding residents life-saving skills after shocking evidence more people die from lack of first aid each year than cancer.

Last week a father from the Midlands who saved his daughter’s life called for first aid lessons to be made compulsory in school.

The plea came as a new campaign by St John Ambulance arranged six dates starting this month to teach residents in Spalding the skills they needed to save lives.

Daniel Ravey sprang into action when his 15-month-old daughter Lillie started choking on a biscuit. Mr Ravey (26) remembered the skills he had been taught eight years ago as a St John Ambulance cadet.

Lillie was struggling to breathe and her face started going red, but her father delivered a series of blows to her back until the chunk of food came out.

He said: “It was very scary, having to use first aid on my own child, but I knew I had to do it to save her life.”

The courses in Spalding will take place at the St John Ambulance unit headquarters in Pinchbeck Road on October 15-16, November 12-13 and December 3-4.

Carl Makins, head of community training for St John Ambulance in the East Midlands, said statistics released this year showed up to 140,000 people die every year in situations where first aid could have made the difference.

The statistics, from research in 2010 involving 2045 adults, also showed about 55 per cent of people wouldn’t know what to do if faced with an emergency.

Mr Makins said: “No-one should die because they needed first aid and didn’t get it.

“At a St John Ambulance training course you’ll learn to be the difference between life and death.

“You never know when you might need first aid. It could be at home, at work or just out and about.

“If we had one first aider per street across the country, we could make a big difference to the chances of saving people’s lives.”

The three-hour courses focus on a range of emergency situations involving infants and children, as well as adults.

A basic first aid course and essential and basic first aid course are also available.

For more information and to book a place, call 0845 1304999, email east-mids-training@sja.org.uk, or visit www.sja.org.uk