Local newspaper helps more people learn first aid

Lorraine Brown and Barry Sutton

A newspaper in the East Midlands has joined forces with St John Ambulance to teach more people life saving first aid skills.  

The Leicester Mercury is supporting St John Ambulance's (SJA) Save a Life campaign in the East Midlands, which offers readers the chance to learn essential skills that can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.

The campaign is the second local paper to take up the successful Save a Life campaign. The Derby Telegraph coverage has led to more than 450 people attending an SJA first aid course since its launch, meaning that hundreds more people are now equipped to save a life.

The Leicester Mercury campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of first aid skills and the role of St John Ambulance by running a series of life saving stories.

Readers are then offered a voucher to obtain discounted places on SJA Essential first aid courses including:

  • Essential first aid – a two-hour course that includes hands-on demonstrations of how to deal with a range of emergency situations, such as choking, severe bleeding and chest pains, along with step by step instructions on resuscitating someone who has stopped breathing
  • Essential first aid (all ages) – a three-hour course that focuses on a range of emergency situations involving infants and children, as well as those involving adults.

Inspirational life savers

Stories so far have included:

  • 18-year-old SJA volunteer Hayden Beszant, who rushed to help when he came across a collision between a car and a motorcycle earlier this year
  • and security guard Lorraine Brown from Beaumont Leys Shopping Centre, who administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to save the life of 66-year-old Barry Sutton.

Making it easy to learn first aid

St John Ambulance is hosting courses to give as many people as possible the opportunity to learn life saving first aid skills. By using the vouchers in the Leicester Mercury prices have been discounted to:

  • £10 for a two-hour Essential first aid course
  • and £15 for a three-hour Essential first aid (all ages) course.

(prices normally start from £25 plus VAT).

So far more than 200 people have signed up for SJA Essential first aid courses as a result of the Leicester Mercury campaign.

Chris Thornton, Regional Director for St John Ambulance in the East Midlands, said: ‘We are delighted so many people have taken this opportunity to equip themselves with the skills to save a life. First aid can often be the difference between a life lost and a life saved, so by taking part in this course members of the public are helping to make Leicestershire a safer place.’

Recent research by St John Ambulance shows that up to 140,000 people die each year in situations where first aid could have helped save their lives. The study showed that less than one in five people know even basic first aid skills. St John Ambulance hopes other local papers will soon follow suit giving more people the skills to be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.