First aid training for USA-bound Scouts

Photo of two Scouts practising CPR on a dummy.

By Andrew Phelps, Avon Scouts.

Avonation Unit 70 was formed 18 months ago to prepare those who will be attending the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, USA in July 2019.

After all the administration tasks and branding, the next thing on the agenda was what training the 40 members (36 young people and four adult leaders) thought would be essential for while they were away. A ‘first response’ first aid course was top of the list and so the leaders made enquiries into venues, instructors and funding.

The instructor was the easy bit, but it could only be held on Easter Sunday. The location was very central in the county being at Little Stoke Scout HQ. Funding was a bit trickier, so the unit applied to the Aviva Community Fund and Tesco Bags of Help.

Tesco replied to say that there were hundreds of applications and the unit probably wouldn’t get through by the time we went off to America, whereas the Aviva Community Fund was a ‘go’ from the start. Both applications went in and Avonation got through the people’s vote and the judges’ vote of the Aviva application and were given money towards their course. Then, a few days later out of the blue, Tesco sent an email to say the unit had been selected and were going to be in every store in the north of Bristol for March and April. The blue token voting has been a close-cut thing for all three applicants and our first aid project will soon find out how much money it is going to receive.

On Easter Sunday, the unit met up at Little Stoke Scout HQ and spent 8 hours learning all the skills they’d need for any first aid emergency on the Jamboree, including animal and snake bites. The whole day was fantastic with lovely sunny weather, but the most fun part had to be the ambulance racing which was an exercise into how effective the participants’ CPR techniques were (every time they pressed down on the dummy’s chest or breathed into its mouth correctly, the computer graphic ambulances would advance down the course). All four patrols could compete together, and the winners were Lamas Patrol.

I would like to say ‘thank you’ to all the residents who voted for the unit in both competitions and a big ‘thank you’ to Mark for giving up his Easter Sunday and day off to train the participants. Not only did the unit have a great day of first aid, but it was also yet another day to bond and get to know each another better for the three weeks they’ll be away.

An added benefit is that the first aid certificate is a nationally recognised qualification which the young people can put down on their CVs.

Finally, thanks to Aviva and Tesco for funding the course!

This article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 32). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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