VIDEO: Choking ordeal inspires first aid lessons

More than 240 pupils at 
Belper School are receiving life saving first aid training after one of the children saw her mum choking and was
inspired to learn what to do in an emergency.

Teacher Suman Sharma-Mulgrew contacted St John Ambulance to arrange for the whole of Year Eight to receive essential first aid training after Lucy, 12, asked if they could learn first aid at school.

The youngster said: “When I saw my mum choking it really scared me because I didn’t know what to do to help. I had been on my computer and came into the kitchen and she was choking.

“Luckily it wasn’t serious but it made me realise that I wanted to know what to do in case something happened again which is why I asked if we could learn first aid.

“It has been really fun and I have learnt a lot of important information. I feel pleased and proud that I have been able to do this and hopefully if I saw someone in an emergency at home, at school or just out and about I would be able to help them. I think first aid is really important and everyone should learn it.”

St John Ambulance has been delivering a series of two-hour first aid taster sessions every Wednesday for eight weeks at the school.

By June 5, all 240 year eight pupils will have taken part in a training session.

The sessions include coping in an emergency, how to deal with someone who is choking, the recovery position, bleeding, and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Carl Makins, regional training and community projects manager, said: ‘At St John Ambulance,we believe that every young person should have the chance to learn vital life saving skills yet our research shows that seven out of ten students wouldn’t know what to do if someone they knew was injured.

“As a result of this training 240 more young people in the Belper area will have the vital first aid skills to be able to be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.

“Hopefully this could make a big difference to the chances of saving more lives.”

All the school’s office staff are fully-trained first aiders and a number of staff throughout the school, including teachers, admin staff and mid-day supervisors are trained in emergency aid.

The school also has a defibrillator on site, and staff trained to use it.

For more information about St John Ambulance or to arrange first aid training for a school or community group, telephone 08700 10 49 50 or visit