MSPs learn to save a life with St Andrew’s First Aid

An impressive cross-party group of MSPs from all corners of Scotland recently attended a First Aid training course to ensure they have potentially life-saving knowledge and skills to deal with both little and large emergencies in their constituencies.

The bespoke course was organised by Scotland’s leading First Aid charity, St Andrew’s First Aid and was sponsored by MSP for Glasgow Drew Smith.

Entitled ‘Essential First Aid’, the two-hour practical course covered casualty and incident management, the recovery position, fainting, choking, wounds and bleeding, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Attendees were presented with a St Andrew’s First Aid certificate to confirm their attendance.

MSP for Glasgow, Drew Smith who sponsored the event, said,

“I was pleased to support St Andrew’s First Aid, and help to raise awareness of its work in the Scottish Parliament. Having the St Andrew’s First Aid trainers in Parliament was a great way to learn about the invaluable work they do and to encourage MSPs to think about the value of training more First Aiders and respecting the work done by hundreds of volunteer First Aiders in communities across Scotland.

“MSPs are perhaps more used to landing verbal blows on our opponents but I’m sure colleagues from across the parties who took part in today’s training won’t hesitate to use their First Aid skills before checking their casualty for a party card.”

MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, Annabelle Ewing who attended the course, commented,

“I feel much more confident in both my knowledge and skills having received training in First Aid. Although the course only took two hours, I feel much more confident about knowing what to do in the event of a First Aid emergency and I recommend receiving First Aid training to ensure you have the skills to potentially save the life of a colleague, loved one or even a stranger. Every member of the public should have these skills as you never know when you may need to use them.”

Learning First Aid skills such as CPR and how to use a defibrillator can make the difference between a life lost and a life saved. For every minute following Sudden Cardiac Arrest that defibrillation is not received, a casualty’s chances of survival drop by between 7-10%. Knowing how to do deal with choking is also a vital skill as although the target response time for the Scottish Ambulance Service is 8 minutes, choking can prove fatal in just 4.

St Andrew’s First Aid trainer and assessor, Ian Ridland, was very impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication with which the MSPs approached their training.

“It’s fantastic to see that MSPs understand the importance of learning First Aid and that they want to encourage others to undertake training by leading by example. I was very impressed with their enthusiasm – everyone got involved which is a key part of the training, it is very hands on and you won’t learn until you try!”

Convenor of the Accident Prevention and Safety Awareness Cross-Party Group at Holyrood, Clare Adamson MSP, said,

“I am delighted to see so many MSPs grasping the opportunity to learn life-saving skills with St Andrew’s First Aid. Having heard the incredibly inspirational stories of members of the Scottish public nominated at the Scottish First Aid Awards 2013, whose First Aid training had saved lives at home, in the playground, and at work, it is clear that First Aid skills are vital and that we should all aspire to learn them.”

If you would like to book a First Aid training course with St Andrew’s First Aid, please visit or for more information on the work of St Andrew’s First Aid, please visit

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