As strange as it may sound this Sunday past (15th March) I spent the afternoon in a field; somewhere in the Leicestershire County. (Holwell to be precise, just outside Melton Mowbray ~ sorry for any spelling error here)
This isn’t actually the strangest part: that would be the fact I spent the day being a casualty who was a victim of an earthquake… (Apparently you can get them in Leicester!) My first injury was a nose bleed due to being smacked in the face by someone, (people would say that’s the best way to shut me up!) but then things got a whole lot worse with my next injury… a knife wound to my upper thigh.
Now, you may think (among other things) that I am just really accident prone; which is true when you think that I have been sick all over myself (which is fun to do when drunk but not sober) and fainted… not to mention the major burns to my face; hands and back/shoulders. Admittedly not all these things have happened at the same time, but it does seem I get injured a lot doesn’t it?
As most of you will know I am a member of St. John Ambulance; which is a voluntary caring organization that provides first aid as well as first aid cover for duties. What many people do not know is that I am also a member of Casualties Union, a registered charity which exists to provide casualties and patients for those who teach first aid, nursing and rescue. (More info can be found here: http://www.casualtiesunion.org.uk/)
I have been asked on more than one occasion why do I do it, and in truth it is much the same answer as it is for my St. John work; simply because I love what I do. To me the fact that I can not only save someone’s life but also help someone else “hone” their lifesaving skills; is something to be proud of.
The first time I actually met my now colleagues from the CU unit I belong to was while helping out St. John, who were asked to provide cover at the local soccer ground for (as I was led to believe) people who actually felt ill. The exercise was done with Red Cross and CU, testing the Fire and Ambulance Services. The basis was that there had been a chemical attack and people needed to be evacuated to the soccer ground, where the Red Cross would deal with them.
Somehow I managed to get involved (always the last one to know type of thing; but always willing to help out!) and had to almost babysit some of the “casualties.” I have to admit that I wasn’t prepared for what they threw at me, but I am reliably told that I did alright. But the one thing it did do for me, was make me want to learn more and become involved. To be able to see it from the “casualties” point of view is no doubt a huge help to me as a first aider, I hope it has made me a better first aider in the long run.
Someone commented to me recently that it was… “a strange way to spend a weekend” I happened to disagree… what could be more fun than being able to be extracted from a crashed car by lovely firemen and not only live to tell the tale, but also not have a mark on you! Not bad for a few hours work and all the fun of having your body plastered (sometimes quite literally) in fake flesh, blood, bone and sometimes; like me a real knife! (Don’t worry it was made safe!)
Even if I did get called a bloke twice! And after being called Mikkie by a good friend who's known me too long I am beginning to think I need to stop cutting my hair and wearing jeans! Maybe I should change my name to Rita from now on?