Losing my Dad in 1996 was a catalyst for deciding to become a First Aider at work when a vacancy arose in the bank.
I am not very good at the sight of blood, especially my own, but I thought it not a bad idea to learn some of the basics, and even better, I got paid fifty quid a year for doing it!
Like Hubby, I’m the kind of person who (likes to think she can) deals with a crisis and once over, then goes and pukes in the corner.
Each of the three floors in the building had three first aiders, and we were all armed with a key to The Cabinet where we would find plasters, bandages, rubber gloves, dressings and a few other things. There were never any OTC medications like paracetamol because it was considered ‘incorrect’ to administer drugs of any description, though should the casualty be on medication, we were perfectly capable to assist them in taking it.
My initial training was over a course of three days, and three of us went together. Funny how everything seems to come in threes here.
When it came to treating ‘Annie’, it was extremely weird to be doing resuss on half a rubber body with a pulse! I was told my technique was good though, and passed that bit with flying colours.
Unlike a guy on my refresher course three years later (another three look!) who failed his resuss by suffocating the casualty. He was doing great on compressions until the actual kiss of life when he kept putting his arm across Annie’s throat for balance, no matter how hard the instructor tried to guide and correct him.
I also became very good at slings and pressure bandages, remembering the idea was not to stop the circulation but stem the blood flow. This came in handy when Hubby fell out of the attic in the bungalow and cut his elbow to the bone.
However, if I go back to my first marriage when I knew zilch about first aid apart from applying a plaster and something about pressure to stop bleeding, The Ex decided to flymo his finger instead of the lawn yet it was I who became the casualty.
I was fine checking the wound and cleaning it whilst the blood slowed its bright red flow down the sink as I applied pressure, but it was his gushing commentary that did me in.
‘It could have been my whole finger. Or even my hand! It could even have been my entire arm……..’
I didn’t hear anything else as I passed out on the floor.