accessibility & help

Teenage first aiders to the rescue

12 September 2009

Teenagers with friendsThe friends of 12-year-old Joseph Shutt, who all received Red Cross first aid training at Blackwood Comprehensive School, Gwent, demonstrated the life-saving skills they learned to great effect when Joe suffered a five-inch gash to his knee while the group played outside a party this summer. The boys were playing a game of tag when Joe slid down a steep bank, hit a rock, and suffered a deep gash, partially severing a tendon.

He said: "I'd jumped down it no end of times before but this time I landed on a rock and bounced off. I kept on going and landed further down the bank. I looked at my knee and just saw red."

Calm and in control


Luckily, Joe and his friends had recently done a Red Cross first aid training course at their school and knew exactly what to do.

Joe recalled: "One of my friends called an ambulance straight away and the others went for the parents of the person whose party it was. They also called my dad on my mobile. My friend Jordan wrapped his shirt tightly around my leg to stop the bleeding.

"I was scared and in shock, but when I realised they had everything under control I calmed down and was fine after that."

Delighted first aid trainer


Nigel Franklyn, first aid development officer for the Red Cross youth and schools service, and Ashley Williams trained the boys and their classmates at Blackwood School. He is so delighted with them that he has put them forward for a Red Cross Humanitarian Citizen Award, celebrating the contribution that young individuals and groups make to the lives of others.

He said: "I'm over the moon with them. I'm mega chuffed. We always get asked whether we are good trainers and we always reply, 'We're fantastic', but obviously when we know that the work we've done has led to something like this, it's pretty special."

Joe eventually had to undergo surgery to sanitise the wound and repair the partially severed tendon, and is about to start physiotherapy in the hope that he will soon be able to return to the rugby pitch.

Nigel said: "We're challenging people to give first aid training a go to make a stronger community. If there's a problem or a disaster then the area could be better equipped to cope with it."

Learn more about first aid 

Read about first aid in schools

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