First Aid or How I Got To Touch a Man That Looked Like Robert Llewellyn

It took me 2 days, but when the realisation of who Rob, one of my fellow students, reminded me of it was brilliant. But that is beside the point – a few weeks ago I was sent on a painstaking 4 day long First Aid course and over the four days I was reminded on how much I actually remembered from my last extensive course, how that in my Scouting years I was exposed to far too many first aid cases for some to believe me, and mostly how much I enjoyed having to work in the city centre.

First Aid though is something that I never really enjoy doing but I have had to use it a few times in recent memory, and on Valentines night I came across a man lying in the street passed out – the problem was not that I didn’t know what to do, I just had no confidence in doing it and also I was pretty drunk. I’d like to see me, drunkenly, trying to put a hefty drunken unconscious man into the recovery position on slippery ice as Helen and a stranger watched with confusion.

Other times include ankle breaks (ouch), epileptic seizures (scariest thing I have ever seen) and my own maladies, such as straining my ligaments in my ankle or knee from a fairly rough challenge at football. It was clear that over the course of the training the lady, Heather, who was brilliant at answering some pretty tricky questions, was amused by my almost never ending anecdotes referring to my First Aid – I have helped a heart attack victim to sit up on Gordon Street, phoned for an ambulance twice when working at the Link, and in Scouting, seen way above my quota for fractures.

The course it’s self was pretty good – the best First Aid course I have been on, that’s for sure. The people on it were brilliant too – the role playing aspect, when you have to pretend that the real person in front of you, that not 5 minutes ago you’d been introduced to, you are now having to tilt their head back, stare into their mouth past their teeth, rub you hand along their body for keys and phones, man handle their legs and torso to that they fall into your arms… it’s lucky that I can keep a straight face sometimes. Years of tickling experience have taught me to control it when it is needed.

The best part of the training was when Heather decdied to pretend to be a drunken friend of the dummy that we were practising CPR on. On our own at first, she’d basically shout “Ma Man!” and “Get your filthy hands off him”, or my favourite when Lyndsey was practising, “He doesnae like pretty young things!”. That was amazing fun.

Then, in a team:
“Here, you keep her over there!”
“Ma Man!”
“28-29-30… Breathe….”
“Why you kissing ma man!?”
“What’s your name?”
“Why ye askin’ ma name, that’s ma man on the flair!”
“Stand back! I’m about to give him a shock.”
“You tryin t’ae kill him?”

It jumped the shark when, at the end of the day, Heather is playing the CPR person and I am working out the defibrillator and applying it to the patient… and she pretends to pass out on top of him. I start to help both casualties as Ewan and Pat are laughing… and I see Heather’s shoulders start to shake with laughter. So much for being unconscious.

So now, if you’re around me, you should be fine. As long as I am not drunk.