Scottish First Aid Awards 2017 – Where are they now?

Douglas Bremner Special Commendation Award – Eilidh and Harry Newton

In April 2014, when the family were at home, their father Gregor suddenly collapsed. Harry who was 11 at the time found him, he was lifeless and not breathing.

He shouted for help and his sister Eilidh who was 13, picked up her mobile and for the first time ever, dialled 999 to contact the ambulance service whilst their mum started CPR.

Knowing they needed help urgently they both left the house and ran to the local hotel to seek help there. They gave information and took instruction from the call handler and together, they helped save their father’s life.

Despite their young age at the time of the incident, in the couple of years that have passed they have quietly supported their parents in raising money for their local first responder group and for the purchase of public access defibrillators.

In 2017, Save a Life for Scotland invited them to join their campaign with Young Scot, a campaign designed to help young people living in Scotland learn about CPR and also to feel enabled to help someone in cardiac arrest.

We recently asked Eilidh and Harry about what they have been up to since winning the Douglas Bremner Special Commendation Award in 2017 – and they have certainly been busy!

“Eilidh and Harry were deeply honoured to receive the Douglas Bremner Special Commendation Award and they both take pride of place in the living room. Initially after the awards in December, the school carried out more increased awareness of the need for CPR training at school and Eilidh and Harry were approached by the teachers to tell their story in the more junior years in the school.

“On our trip to Australia in December we all were amazed at where defibrillators are placed – did you know there is one at the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge? Our friends home and abroad have also been inspired and all our friends children are now CPR ready in support of Eilidh and Harry’s plight to educate and spread the word that if it can happen to them it can happen to anyone!

Eilidh and Harry at the Royal Mackintosh hotel, Dunbar, this is where Eilidh works and the hotel hosts one of the towns 9 defibrillators that were funded from the Staying Alive Ball , 2014 . Harry is
one of the town volunteers for checking the maintenance and plotting of the devices on SAS system to ensure people of the town and visitors are safe.

“Moving into 2018, Eilidh has sat her Highers and chose to write about her father’s cardiac arrest for her Higher English reflective writing section. She mentioned the impact of nearly losing her dad in 2014 and how it made her “grow-up” overnight but also the good that came of that terribly frightening night. The work with St Andrew’s first aid, Save a life for Scotland, the launch of the Out of Hospital Cardiac arrest, the promotional videos, the use of her 999 call and the local fundraising that she and Harry were part of.

“Harry has also been busy with Duke of Edinburgh and as part of his volunteering he now assists me and Gregor in the monthly checking of the defibrillators in Dunbar that we fundraised for.

“Today we have checked nine defibrillators and will organise for 2 host companies for CPR training. Harry also feels he would now be able to actively resuscitate someone and activate a defibrillator and will apply to do his first aid certificate later this year when he turns 15.

“Both Eilidh and Harry have added this prestigious award to their CV and were amazed at how wide spread the media covered their story. We were sent local papers from Ayr and The Borders. Eilidh and Harry hope they can help just one person save a life by telling their story and having their videos shown when needed.”
Judy Newton (proud mother of Eilidh and Harry).

What is the Douglas Bremner Special Commendation Award?

The Douglas Bremner Award recognises someone who has carried out an outstanding act of first aid.

Dr Douglas Bremner was associated with St Andrew’s First Aid for over 40 years, the last 25 of which he served as a Trustee. Dr Bremner was appointed Commandant in Chief in 2005 and was very active in this role – he was a familiar sight at events across the country and he especially enjoyed getting out and about and meeting our volunteers. He was a strong leader who lived life to the full.

St Andrew’s First Aid felt it would be fitting to honour Dr Bremner by introducing a special commendation award in his memory as a lasting legacy of his contribution to the charity and to first aid.Last year the award was presented by his daughter Susan Redpath and in previous years his wife Eleanor Bremner.

This category is not awarded each year but is saved for exceptional circumstances. Each nomination for First Aid Hero, Young First Aid Hero or Emergency Services Hero of the year has the potential to take home this award.

Nominate now at firstaid.org.uk/awards

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