How Prepared are the British Public for a Terrorist Attack.

About 3,200 Parisians have attended free first aid training in the French capital to be better prepared for possible terror attacks. And so what are we doing in the UK?We all know that first aid saves life. Numerous surveys have been conducted in the UK which show that the majority of people would not know what to do if someone stopped breathing.  This is  shameful because it is something we can all do if we make an effort. If CPR (manual resuscitation) is started and continued until a defibrillator arrives, there is a much greater chance of survival.  And it is not just the worst case scenario we should prepare for –  we need to know what to do to stem a bleed, to help someone who has gone into shock, who has a seizure, head injury, fracture and so on.I have seen first-hand how the general public react when there is a first aid emergency.  And it is usually blind panic, running around like headless chickens, and then everybody calling 999.

The 2 hour first aid training in the French capital Paris was provided in every district of Paris aimed to teach participants how to react in emergency situations. The measure was approved by the Paris city council in December in the wake of the November 13th attacks that killed 130 people.

“We must all know the five or six basic techniques that will help protecting the population if ever there are other attacks,” said Dr. Patrick Pelloux, an A and E doctor.

So Mr Prospective new Mayor how about it?

We live in uncertain times and sadly it is not a case of if it happens here but more when it happens here and how prepared are the general public for such an emergency.  I think ‘not very’ is the answer.

It is very commendable that the emergency services have been practicing and are probably as ready as can be but we also need to ensure that we are equipped to help.

Once the heart stops there is only 3 minutes before irreversible brain damage occurs. So why are we as a nation so reluctant to give up a few hours to learn what is essentially one of the most important life skills?

Maybe it is too frightening or just procrastination. Safe and Sound has taught tens of thousands of people first aid and sometimes sadly it is hindsight that has brought them to our courses. One woman who attended our first aid course recently told me that her husband who was just 39 had died from a heart attack and she always felt guilty because she just stood by and did nothing.  Would it have helped had she started CPR until the emergency services arrived?  She will never know but she lives with this guilt. “At least now I know how to do CPR and if I was ever in the situation again maybe I could do something to save a life.”

Click on the link below to watch a short Safe and Sound CPR video: Or better still book onto one of our first aid courses.