First Aid Training at Ford Castle

Intrepid, that’s what we were.  On a mission to acquire and improve our first aid knowledge, both theoretical and practical, if only we could get through the large quantities of snow falling like so much shredded crepe bandage on the hills and in the valley, but mostly, it seemed, on us.  With hindsight we were possibly a little foolhardy, but we made it and all in one piece . . . well two pieces: two cars with a total of nine (seriously seatbelted) people travelling from Stanhope in Weardale to the Castle in Northumberland.
As it’s the start of a new year, we are undertaking a series of training courses, as a refresher for some and to impart new skills to others.  The first of these was indeed a First Aid course and I’m very pleased to say that I was part of this expedition and subsequent training.  Aside from anything else, the Castle is just wonderful and an opportunity to stay there, always a treat.
The last time I did a First Aid course was . . . erm . . . well let’s just say that on completion I gained my Guider’s First Aid badge.  Things have moved on.  I really should have retaken this course before now and would thoroughly recommend anyone considering doing the same to go for it.  I’m not suggesting that if you let me loose with a scalpel I’d confidently whip out a troublesome appendix, but I could check whether an unconscious casualty was breathing and perform CPR if not.
We are a mixed bunch, from the seriously outdoors type (Gordon) to the smart-lipped belles (all the Beths, even the one who’s Rosy); the demure multi-lingual graduates (Anita, Dan and Alex) to the castle expert with a penchant for activities (Paul); not forgetting the horse-mad organiser, who manages and oversees all (Claire).  We gather together to learn from Des, who seems to have been everywhere and done everything, but (fortunately for us) now fits us in for training.
Whilst I always knew First Aid to be a valuable and extremely important asset, particularly whilst working at an activity centre, I would never have anticipated that we’d be asked to do the impossible.  Attempting to bring a dummy to life through CPR is frankly a thankless task at which I failed miserably.  Applying the defibrillator proved to be just as fruitless.  Here we can see that even Des is having little success in resuscitating ‘Little Anne’, who, it has to be said looks more like a ‘Little Andrew’.
The course was certainly worthwhile and I think we all learnt something; even those for whom this was just a refresher.And next?  Ah yes, the Zip Wire.  Bring it on!



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