Parliament gathers for World First Aid Day

Campaign to teach all schoolkids first aid skills brought to Holyrood

Saturday 14th September 2019

Pupils from a local primary school joined politicians in parliament earlier this week to highlight World First Aid Day.

Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton has lent his support to a campaign led by the British Red Cross calling for first aid training in all Scottish schools.

After saving his own daughter’s life by administering first aid when she choked on a coin earlier this year, Mr Cole-Hamilton is fully behind the British Red Cross’ message that first aid training should be a legal requirement.

“Today we are trying to bring awareness to parliamentarians and government officials about the need to extend first aid training to all of our schools in Scotland,” Mr Cole-Hamilton told healthandcare.scot.

“This is part of a big campaign to make access to first aid training universal – not just for children but for people of all ages and that really does start in school.

“The things you learn in school you remember decades later – there is nothing more important than first aid training.”

But with many teachers speaking about tight resources and reduced support, is this at odds with a call to add more to the education experience of young Scots?

“If you even have half an hour’s lesson in your entire primary school career,” counters Mr Cole-Hamilton, “that’s enough to be able to save a life 20 years later.

“I saved my daughter at the beginning of this year when she choked on a coin and I had to resuscitate her and I hadn’t done first aid for 25 years.

“It was a course I did with a module on choking that lasted 30 minutes, and I saved her with that – it snapped back into my head at a time I needed it and that’s given me the zeal to go and help people who want to get trained, so that if they ever need it – and I hope they never will – they will have the skills necessary to deliver life-saving care.”