St John Ambulance adopts Calm, Cushion, Call to epilepsy advice

Saturday, 09 September 2023: St John Ambulance is pleased to announce it is partnering with Epilepsy Society so everyone knows how to help someone who is having an epileptic seizure.

Research by St John has found just 29 per cent of people are confident in using first aid skills in an emergency. On World First Aid Day (9 Sep) the first aid and health response charity encouraged people to learn new, simple life-saving skills including how to support someone who is having a seizure.

St John is adopting the Epilepsy Society’s simple seizure first aid messaging – Calm, Cushion, Call – as part of its national training and hopes the three easy-to-remember words will give people the confidence to help someone having a seizure.

Dr Lynn Thomas, Medical Director at St John Ambulance, said: “We very much like the simplicity of the Epilepsy Society’s ‘Calm, Cushion, Call’ seizure first aid.

“There is no point in asking people to learn complicated procedures which will be hard to recall in an emergency. This simple message tells you exactly what to do – stay calm, cushion the person’s head and call for an ambulance.”

Nicola Swanborough, Head of External Affairs at the Epilepsy Society, said: “First aid is always about two people, the person with the medical emergency and the person who is first on the scene.

“If a member of the public sees a person lying on the pavement, shaking, they may not know that the person is having a seizure, and they won’t know their medical history. But they will want to help and do the right thing for that person.

“As long as they stay calm, cushion the person’s head to stop them injuring themselves, and dial 999, then the ambulance staff will be able to talk them through the next steps.”

On 13 September 2023, the Epilepsy Society will be holding a special ‘Calm, Cushion, Call’ first aid event in parliament to teach MPs and peers how to help someone who is having a seizure.

Full first aid advice for seizures is available at: Seizures Symptoms & Treatment - First Aid Advice | St John Ambulance (