St Andrew’s First Aid demonstrates life saving skills at school event

There was a lot of excitement going on in the school assembly hall. Youngsters were pedalling on exercise bikes, trying fruit smoothies, giving hair straightening demonstrations, and a group of young people from St Andrew’s First Aid demonstrated resuscitation techniques. This was the 18th Annual Health Fayre at Dalziel High School, Motherwell which took place this month. The school takes health education seriously – and St Andrew’s First Aid is an important part of that.

Deputy Commandant Christine Sommerville attended with a group of youngsters from St Andrew’s First Aid Cadets demonstrating life saving techniques which can be used on an adult, a child and a baby. She was first inspired to learn first aid 24 years ago after her father became ill. “He had a heart attack and that is what prompted me to learn first aid. My brother resuscitated him – it brought my dad back to life.”

She is now Secretary of Youth Development Group for the organisation and at the Annual Health Fayre she was keeping a watchful eye – but taking a back seat as young members of St Andrew’s First Aid offered demonstrations. Pupils Andrew Short, Mark Hannah and Calum Friel, who are all 15, were showing other pupils what steps to take if someone was unconscious using the Rescusi Anne, Little Junior and Rescusi Baby training manikins.

Although the principles are the same there are different steps to be followed if the person is an adult, a young child, or a baby – which is why there were demonstration manikins for different ages. There was a lot of joking around but at the heart of what is happening was the sharing of some important knowledge which could one day save a life. Calum has been a volunteer for four years and was nominated for the Young Scot Awards for his work with St Andrew’s First Aid. He said: “I wanted to be a doctor so the idea was to start with the basics. Also it is a condition that you have to have done some sort of volunteering work to get into Glasgow University.

“I thought it would be a fantastic skill to have. And it is not just the first aid you are learning it’s also a social group.”

Members of the cadet groups hold regular meetings as well as getting the chance to attend events such as football matches, T in the Park, as St Andrew’s First Aid volunteers.

Andrew Short, another cadet and another pupil wishing to become a doctor has already had the opportunity to put his skills into practice. “A few weeks ago somebody in my class fell over and hurt their leg. Lots of people were panicking but I had a look at the leg and knew it wasn’t broken. What I have learned meant I was able to help calm everybody down.”

Calum, who was nominated for the Young Scot Awards for his work with younger children believes it is important for as many people as possible to know the basic principles of first aid.

“I think it is a great idea. Ideally we want to get them all trained up. The more people who know how to resuscitate someone, the better. It means there is more chance somebody will be in the right place at the right time. Potentially it could save someone’s life.”


St Andrew’s First Aid believes that every young person has the ability to make a real difference in their community. Through our Youth Development Group, St Andrew’s First Aid provides children and young people with developmental opportunities to help them achieve their full potential.

Interested in getting involved?

Then please email , visit or give us a call on 0141 332 4031.

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