Last week I went for a coffee with a good friend of mine, anyone who knows me knows I use coffee shops a lot, both for social as well as business meetings if they are not too noisy.
We met halfway in Bedford, not been to Bedford in a good few years but looks like a nice market town with plenty of people about, usually a good sign that there is plenty going on. We chose a coffee shop and went in and ordered our coffees and then found a seat by the window.
We were deep in conversation and must have been chatting for a good while, when we heard some commotion coming from the back of the coffee shop, it quickly came apparent that a young child was choking on something, and by this time the mother was getting very distraught as you would expect, and realised that nobody had gone to this lady’s aid and the child who was no more than 3 years old was going blue.
So, went across to distraught the lady and said I am a first aider would you like some help, (always wise to ask permission first) and she said yes my baby is choking and everyone is just looking and doing nothing, so I picked up the child in my arms with head facing down and started giving back slaps whilst my friend rang for the ambulance, after 3 back slaps the object popped out on to the floor, and would you believe it the offending object was a ‘red Lego brick’, what is it bright colours and kids.
Just on cue the paramedics came rushing through the door and I handed the child over to them and explained that the object had been dislodged and was on the floor, really good to see the child’s colour was coming back and the paramedics were busy checking the child and the mother started to calm down from what was a very dramatic experience for her, after all, lots of people had just stood and watched and none had offered any assistance to them, I suppose it is the way the world is these days and nobody wants to get involved.
The paramedics decided that the child needed to be checked over at the hospital to ensure everything was Ok, on the way out the paramedics and the mother thanked us both for our prompt action which was a very nice touch for what had been a traumatic event for the mother and child as well as us too.
We decided that we had enough excitement for 1 day and was about to leave when the coffee shop manager asked if they could buy us a coffee and have a chat with us, we thought a coffee would be nice after all that had happened, a good caffeine boost was needed.
During our coffee, with the manager, it was discovered that all the staff had recently done an Emergency First Aid at Work course and the staff all said they did not feel that they would be confident in a situation like had just happened, and this had just proved it.
So, said people who attend our first aid courses are constantly assessed so if we find that someone who is not very confident we can spot it early and through some gentle encouragement and how our courses are designed we can be certain that the person will become a confident and competent first aider and if an emergency situation happens like the one earlier than your first aiders will successfully manage the situation till professional help arrives on scene.
The manager went away and was back within 5 minutes with the owner who decided there and then to sign all his staff and himself up to do an Emergency First Aid at Work course with us that is a regulated and accredited qualification that is also Ofqual approved too with us in September.
If you are going to learn first aid then you should always do ‘due diligence’ and do your research on your chosen first aid provider, most reputable first aid providers welcome this and will provide everything you require to make an informed decision, after all, someone’s life may depend on it, just like the child in the coffee shop.