The Scottish First Aid Awards 2018 – Winners

On Friday 23 November, 2018 we celebrated the 7th anniversary of our industry’s night of nights in Glasgow with 352 of our community’s finest. Since the inception of the Scottish First Aid Award program, the event has brought our first aid and emergency services community together to celebrate our achievements and recognise our central role at the heart of the Scottish community.
It was wonderful to see everyone come together and celebrate the collective achievements of this vibrant industry. Thank you to all the volunteers who supported this program through your nominations, attendance and fundraising. This annual gala event and awards night is Scotland’s premier first aid wards, and being named and finalist or winner is a great achievement and one that you should be proud of.

On behalf of St Andrew’s First Aid, congratulations to each of 2018’s deserving winners. You can see all the photos from the night on our Facebook page.

Winner – Young First Aid Hero

Cayden McAuley, 8 years old

Cayden McAuley was nominated by the Save a Life for Scotland team after he attended their CPR demonstration event at the European Championships this summer. As his mother suffers from chronic heart failure, Cayden took it upon himself to learn CPR and was determined to get it just right. At only 6-years-old, Cayden showed tremendous bravery by providing basic first aid to his mother, Lyndsey, when she collapsed in the street.  Cayden placed his jacket under her head and instinctively waved down a passing car to help and call for an ambulance. His mother describes Cayden as her hero.

Winner – St Andrew’s First Aid Young Volunteer of the Year

Christopher Williamson, 20 years old

Chris has been a volunteer First Aider with the University of Glasgow Company for the past 2-years and dedicates hundreds of hours to volunteering. His work and dedication were most directly seen at the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow, when Chris and his colleague were first on scene at a cardiac arrest in Merchant City. Chris thought quickly and calmly and commenced CPR when he recognised the person was not breathing. Through his actions, there was a positive outcome and the team were able to resuscitate the casualty.

Winner – St Andrew’s First Aid Volunteer of the Year

Iain ‘Cubby’ Cuthbertson, Commandant, Motherwell Company

Iain has been a volunteer for 55 years and an Officer with St Andrew’s for almost 30. He is a dedicated First Aider and has contributed near 9,000! volunteer hours to the organisation through event cover, demonstrations, and first aid presentations across the South West of Scotland. Iain works with children and young people to influence future generations and help them to look after themselves and their families. He has facilitated CPR sessions to almost 2,000 young people in local schools as part of community activities.

Winner –  Community First Aid Champion

“Keep to the Beat”, Lanarkshire

The ‘Keep to the Beat’ group is made up of 5 women (Caroline, Fiona, Laura, Fiona and Michelle) who outside of their full time work with the NHS, have a passion for teaching CPR. In the past year, the group has taught CPR to more than 5,500 people and visited more than 20 schools. The ‘Keep to the Beat’ group are also working with the ‘Tesco Bags of Help’ programme to help them purchase defibrillators to place around their community.

Winner – Small Organisation of the Year for First Aid Excellence

Bearsden West Community Council

Bearsden West Community Council is a voluntary organisation run by local residents. First aid has been at the forefront for them and members of the organisation see it as their mission to ensure as many people as possible are aware of and equipped with life-saving skills, through workshops and awareness projects. In the past year, the Community Council has installed two publicly accessible defibrillators. They are currently working in partnership with other Community Councils and local groups to install further defibs across Scotland.

Winner – Large Organisation of the Year for First Aid Excellence

Mackenzie Construction

Mackenzie Construction is a Civil Engineering Contractor and by nature the work is high risk. They have two first aiders on every site as well as an appointed person in case of emergency. Over 2/3rds of employees have some level of first aid training. Mackenzie Construction recently invested in a defibrillator, which is also readily available to other businesses in the area. First aid equipment is available in the office, within each company van and in the welfare area at each of their sites.

Winner – First Class Award

Saltersgate School, Midlothian

Saltersgate School supports primary and secondary children with additional support and learning needs. The school has recognised the importance of having all staff first aid trained, rather than just a single designated member.  In addition to their commitment to first aid amongst staff, senior secondary pupils (S4-6) have the option of taking part in a ‘Promoting Health’ course with the course content adapted to each individual pupils need. Saltersgate School shows that CPR training can be valuable for people of any age, ability and skill.

Winner – First Aid Hero

Clare Devlin

Clare was working in John Lewis when a customer suffered a heart attack and subsequent cardiac arrest. Clare saved the man’s life that day by her actions, administering CPR for 22-minutes until the ambulance service arrived. When questioned about her experience, Clare said she panicked for a split second because she realised he wasn’t breathing. But then he said to herself ‘there’s no time for that, you need to get on with it’. That day, Clare ended up changing a man’s life (and his family’s) forever.

Emergency Services Hero of the Year

The judges found this category extremely challenging to choose one winner as each story was as equally heroic and dramatic.  As such, the Judging Panel decided to recognise a Highly Commended nomination as well as the overall Winner for this category.

Winner – Constable Alasdair Bell

On March 1, 2018 Police Scotland received a report of a missing vulnerable female in a remote location during wintry weather conditions. Due to falling temperatures and safety, further outdoor searching was suspended. However, PC Bell continued a 4-hour search in extreme winter blizzards with his police dog, Ted. Amazingly Alasdair and Ted found the lady who was unconscious and not breathing. PC Bell subsequently provided CPR for 30-minutes until assistance arrived. Medical staff commended his actions as not only saving the female’s life but giving surgical staff the best opportunity to enable a better recovery and prevent life threatening physical changes.

Highly Commended – Emergency Services Hero of the Year

Constables Darren McDaid and Niall McCloskey

In April 2018, Constables McDaid and McCloskey were dispatched to search for a man after a family member reported he was intending to take his own life. After a lengthy search, the man in question was found unconscious in a remote bothy. The officers had to balance on the edge of a high river bank whilst holding the man’s weight until backup arrived. After performing CPR the man finally regained consciousness but required urgent medical attention. They then carried the man almost half a mile back to the car park where an ambulance was waiting. The man is thankfully alive today.

The Douglas Bremner Special Commendation

The Douglas Bremner Special Commendation award recognises people who have carried out an outstanding act of first aid. Dr Douglas Bremner was associated with St Andrew’s First Aid for over 40 years, latterly as a Trustee. This award was created in his memory as a lasting legacy of his contribution to the charity and to first aid and all nominee’s from this evening are eligible for this commendation.  This was an exceptional year for nominations in terms of both number and quality. However there were two people whom the judges thought deserved this award due to their near tragic story and from it, their commitment to sharing the knowledge they had gained with other people in their community.

Congratulations Kayleigh and Alec Brown

In February 2018, Alec Brown successfully administered CPR to his 8-month-old son, saving his life. Alec had recently attended a free St Andrew’s First Aid demonstration in Oban, learning vital skills that allowed him save his son. In the wake of the ordeal, Alec’s wife, Kayleigh tried to show her remote community the importance of knowing first aid and CPR, and she contacted St Andrew’s First Aid to deliver further training sessions to the Mull community. Kayleigh and Alec rallied their community together, hired a hall and scheduled First Aid and CPR sessions throughout the day in order to equip local parents with the same first aid skills that saved their youngest son’s life. 103 people attended the event and participated in the sessions. In total the day raised £1,317, which was shared between St Andrew’s First Aid, The Scottish Air Ambulance teddy fundraiser and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The Chairman’s Award

Congratulations Craig Simpson and Elizabeth Seymour

Nominations for the 2018 Scottish First Aid Awards were truly outstanding and the judges found it difficult to select the winners. However, there were two people who although they didn’t win their individual categories, were recognised by the Chairman for their brave and courageous acts. One of whom only signed up as a volunteer in April 2018, and another who has been with St Andrew’s First Aid for 16 years. Just 2 or 3 minutes into their shift at Celtic Park, this pairing saved a man’s life by their quick thinking actions and delivery of CPR. We are always struck by our volunteers’ efforts and are grateful to them both for their courage and service.

The 2018 Chairman’s Award was awarded to Craig Simpson and Elizabeth Seymour.