When Jack Garbutt’s dad collapsed at home the teenager put his recently acquired first aid skills into practice and looked after his dad until the paramedics arrived.

The teenager had just done a course at Scouts with part-time St John first aid trainer Eric Grimsley, which taught him some important skills such as the primary survey, the recovery position, CPR, bleeding, bandaging and burns. He also learnt and what to do in an emergency medical situation.

I didn’t think I’d ever need to use my first aid knowledge, but it was definitely handy to know what to do,” said Jack.


Jack’s dad, Alan, had recently had an operation and was recovering at home when he was taken ill and lost consciousness. “I remember feeling unwell and thought I was going to be sick. The next thing I remember is being on the floor in the hallway,” said Alan.

Jack immediately remembered his training and checked if his dad was breathing before placing him in the recovery position.

“Luckily dad fell in the middle of the hallway, so I had plenty of room to roll him onto his front. He started to come round, but I was worried he might lose consciousness again or vomit, so I wanted to make sure his airway was clear.”

While Jack was giving first aid his mum called 999 for an ambulance. “I could tell mum was panicking a bit, so I also tried to keep her calm too,” recalls Jack.

When the ambulance arrived the crew carried out an assessment and examination and took Alan to hospital for further tests.

Alan says he’s his proud of his son’s actions that evening. “He did really well. I don’t remember anything, but I’ve heard what Jack did and I’m really grateful he was there. I wasn’t aware he had just done his first aid training at Scouts, but I’m pleased he was listening and paying attention on the course.”

St John first aid trainer and Scout Leader Eric Grimsley commented “I teach so many people First Aid, and many of them never have the cause to use their First Aid skills; I am delighted that Jack was able to remember what to do, and put his dad in the recovery position. It makes giving up my time to teach scouts ‘Life Skills’ like First Aid a worthwhile thing to do with my spare time.”

Guernsey’s Scout Commissioner Nick Paluch said “Scouting teaches young people so many important skills which might not otherwise be taught through the standard school curriculum. Along with great first aid skills Jack also showed resilience and a calm approach under pressure which are character traits of a true Scout”

For more information about first aid training in Guernsey contact St John Training on 247979 or email info@firstaidtraining.gg

Posted: March 18, 2019