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Junior Year pupils at Kilgraston School have been learning how to perform vital First Aid techniques under the guidance of their eleven-year-old classmate.

Never too young to press ahead with saving a life


Junior Year pupils at Kilgraston School have been learning how to perform vital First Aid techniques under the guidance of their eleven-year-old classmate.

Rebecca M, herself a long-term advocate of CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) techniques and an Order of St John Youth ambassador, conducted the session at the school under watchful eye of Mum, Susan, herself a registered CPR trainer and former Acute Coronary Care nurse.

“Children are fearless and quite able to conduct, or guide an adult through, resuscitation techniques,” said mum. She continued: “Something as technical as using a defibrillator, or accurate chest compression, or as simple as knowing whom to call, or the correct recovery position, can all be vital First Aid response tools children from six or seven are perfectly able to perform.”

Rebecca is passionate about caring for others and wants to become a Human Rights Lawyer: “She’s very determined!” comments Susan, “conducting First Aid training sessions at various Community Groups throughout Perthshire.”

During the last year, Rebecca has raised £650 for the Hebron Eye Hospital in Palestine, run by St John International, together with helping raise money for a new defibrillator to be installed at Kilgraston School.

A healthy attitude to life is very much part of the family ethos: five-year-old Elizabeth is already proficient in the art of correct First Aid procedure and dad, Ian, is an NHS Tayside consultant neurologist and a member of the Order of St John. “First Aid provision is on schools’ curriculum in Wales,” says the doctor, “but sadly not in Scotland.” He continued: “Having the correct practice equipment from St John has allowed us to reach-out to the Perth & Kinross community during the last couple of years and raise awareness of these vital skills.”

The practice of teaching CPR skills in schools was  highlighted recently by Dr Ada Ezihe-Ejiofor, a consultant anaesthetist at Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London. She pointed out that the UK’s survival rates and lack of First Aid education was very poor compared to European countries: “We are just next-door neighbours to these people. How is it that the Norwegians have a survival rate of one in four, when ours is only around seven? It’s because they have been teaching CPR in schools since 1961. The figures will only change once this becomes more than a one-off.”

If anyone may be interested in inviting St John Scotland to lead a session at their place of work, or other organisation with which they are involved, or would be interested in signing up as a volunteer in P&K, please contact St John Scotland on 0131 556 8711.

Rebecca in The Courier

Kilgraston’s Junior Years

Pupils in Kilgraston School’s Junior Years learning valuable First Aid techniques from their classmate, Rebecca M

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