I can say from personal experience that having first aid and CPR training is one of the best things I have ever done, writes Tele reporter Lindsey Hamilton.
As a qualified swimming coach with the Scottish Amateur Swimming Association, I was also expected to have and regularly update my first aid/CPR qualifications.
All my training was done pool-side, but the basic life-saving techniques are exactly the same — no matter where they are administered.
It was while I was undergoing my first-ever training — which involved all aspects of knowing how to save a life — that I was called upon to use my skills.
It was close to the day I sat my practical exam in the swimming pool, that an HGV lorry crashed on a country road outside my friend’s house.
Obviously, we immediately ran outside and were met by a scene of carnage.
The lorry had crashed into a house that sat on the road side and the front of the cab was crumpled.
The lorry driver had been flung through the windscreen and was lying in a sorry state.
While my friend contacted the emergency services and dashed into the house for blankets, I went to see what I could do.
Fortunately, the driver was conscious but wasn’t moving and obviously in considerable pain and a state of shock.
Everything I had been taught about checking airways, breathing and pulse immediately came to mind.
Thanks to my training, I felt able to calmly deal with the situation and stayed with the man until the ambulance arrived.