Quick thinking Harry uses St John first aid training to help elderly relative

Top L/R: Katie Sweeney and Steve Ford. Bottom L/R: Jocelyn, Harry and Matt Bisson. Picture: Courtesy Guernsey Press

Top L/R: Katie Sweeney and Steve Ford.
Bottom L/R: Jocelyn, Harry and Matt Bisson.
Picture: Courtesy Guernsey Press

After suffering a seizure at his home in the UK, Mr. Smith’s life was saved by his 10-year old grandson, Harry Bisson, who called for an ambulance and utilised his first aid training skills to help his mum deal with the situation.

Harry, a pupil at Forest School, has been part of the St John ‘Student First Aid’ Programme’, where youngsters in Years 3, 4 and 5 learn vital skills through training from St John, including resuscitation, how to put a patient into the recovery position and basic first aid.

The incident occurred at the family’s home in Yorkshire, where Harry, his mum, Joss, and younger sister and brother had been staying for the weekend to visit his grandparents.  Whilst sitting with his grandchildren, Mr. Smith suffered a seizure and an obstructed airway, which required immediate medical attention.

Having previously worked as an Emergency Medical Technician, Joss immediately took to attending her father, whilst Harry, remembering his first aid training, called for an ambulance, and made his grandmother wait outside the house to direct the ambulance. He then shepherded his younger brother and sister into a separate room to keep them calm, before helping mum maintain his grandfather’s airway and place him into the recovery position.

Joss said Harry’s actions really helped make a very difficult situation much easier. ‘He was so brave, and I will be forever grateful for the way he acted. Harry remembered all his first aid training, in particular how to deal with a seizure, and was very calm. He was my saviour,’ she said.

The ‘Student First Aid’ Programme’ takes place in primary and junior schools across the Bailiwick and is sponsored by Specsavers. Delivered by St John Training Services Guernsey, the programme has provided training since 2008, with more than 16,000 pupils having been taught first aid over the period.

Topics covered vary between age groups and range from first aid kits to help with poisons, bites and stings to seizures, making emergency calls and basic resuscitation.

Kate Sweeney, one of two St John Training Services’ dedicated school’s first aid trainers, said, ‘Learning first aid helps young people develop the confidence and skills which in the most severe cases could be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. Harry’s actions were commendable in what was a difficult situation.’

First aid training from St John is available throughout the year and can be booked through training@stjohn.gg or by calling 247979.