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Schoolgirl commended for saving boy's life

 Life-saver Brittany Bull Targett

A Thrapston schoolgirl has been commended for first aid actions that saved a boy's life – only weeks after completing a St John Ambulance training course at school.

Brittany Bull Targett was presented with the school's new Community Award at The King John School, Market Road, Thrapston, 13 May.

Quick to act

The 13-year-old was on hand to provide first aid to school pupil Charlie Cobley (11) when he suffered a bicycle accident while playing with friends. Charlie had fallen off his bicycle and knocked himself unconscious. Brittany ran over to him, checked his airways and put him in the recovery position, to keep his airway open, while friend Elise Hobson (11) called for an ambulance. 

'He was choking on his own blood so I cleared his airway, cleared the blood out, and put him in the recovery position. I have never done anything like this before and it was thanks to the training we had at school that I knew what to do,' said Bull Targett.

Headteacher John O'Leary was impressed with the quick thinking of his pupils, especially considering the severity of Cobley's injuries and the response of some of the other children.

'No adults were present and Charlie had not been wearing a cycle helmet. His injuries seemed quite serious and some of the children in the surrounding area ran away, not knowing what to do. Two of our pupils however, who had recently taken part in the St John Ambulance first aid training course, stepped up to help. Brittany's actions literally saved Charlie's life and it is unlikely they would have known what to do without their St John Ambulance first aid course,' said Headteacher John O'Leary.

A range of skills taught

St John Ambulance schools trainers Diane Hager, Paul Sheehan and Carol Coleman delivered the Young First Aider course to years six, seven and right pupils (aged 10-13) in March. Years six and seven children are trained to deal with an unconscious person and how to roll them into the recovery position. They are also given instruction in how to make an emergency phone call, dealing with an asthma attack and choking. Year eight pupils learn how to deal with serious bleeding, someone who has been poisoned, bites and stings and, burns and scalds.

Carol Coleman, Team Leader for Schools and Community Training for St John Ambulance in Northamptonshire, said:

'Brittany is a very deserving award recipient. She stayed calm and put her skills into action when they were needed most. St John Ambulance teaches valuable life skills to young people by training them in first aid, empowering them to be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.'

Teach the difference

The Young First Aider course, St John Ambulance's interactive training pack, is easy for teachers or youth clubs to use. For more information please call 08700 10 49 50 or visit Teach the difference.

St John Ambulance teaches valuable life skills to young people by training them in first aid, in schools and through its youth schemes. More than 600,000 pupils are trained each year in schools across the country.

The first aid charity has partnered with the award-winning West End musical WICKED to offer, a free resource website to help schools teach first aid, and the values behind it, to pupils aged from five to 16. Offering schools free or low cost resources to help increase the number of young people learning first aid, the website has been launched in response to feedback from teachers who believe first aid could help teach pupils crucial values.