Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 10.08.46A team of paramedics, with nearly a century of front-line experience, is helping schools and businesses save lives.

Salus First Aid Training, led by paramedics Darren Jones and his wife Fiona delivers training for a number of organisations, including the charity Millie’s Trust.

In September Millie Trust’s successful campaign to make first aid training compulsory for all new nursery staff received a Special Recognition award at The Pride of Britain Awards.

It collected 100,000 names on a petition calling on MPs to change the law that required only one member of staff in a nursery to be trained in paediatric first aid.  The change comes into effect in less than a year’s time. The charity has been inundated with requests for information and training following the tragic death of a two-year-old in Hartlepool who choked on a grape at a restaurant in the town.

It was the death of their daughter, nine-month-old Millie Thompson, following a choking incident just three days after she started nursery in 2012 which inspired her parents Joanne and Dan to set up a charity in her name to campaign for better first aid training.

“Unfortunately it took the tragedy of a baby’s death to highlight the inadequacy of provision,” said Darren Jones of Salus First Aid Training. Darren, from Sacriston in County Durham, has been a paramedic for more than 10 years and a trainer of paramedics. Previously – during a 15 year military career – he ran courses in survival for RAF air crew.

“As paramedics are often the first emergency service to arrive we’ve seen first-hand the pitfalls and the benefits of first aid training. I’ve turned up and relatives are trying to keep a loved one alive by doing CPR as they’ve seen it on television.  Sadly, the results are only too predictable,” he said.

“But I’ll always remember answering an emergency call to a four-month-old boy who had stopped breathing.  The only reason he survived is that his aunt had received first aid training and she was doing CPR perfectly. People properly trained in first aid do save lives.”

All Salus’ instructors are highly qualified paramedics who are able to offer training and advice based on decades of real experience.

“There’s not much we haven’t seen so we can use that experience to adapt any course and make it specific to the class we are teaching,” said Darren.

“We have delivered courses to building companies, for instance, and made the scenarios and specific injuries more applicable to their industry. We make all our courses relevant in this way – where possible, at no extra cost.”

Salus works with a range of organisations: from Durham city centre pubs to schools.  All of its courses are approved by the relevant regulator – for example, Ofsted – and its qualifications are recognised by first aid training awarding organisations.

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It has trained nearly half of the 30 staff at Langley Park Primary School in Durham.  Its secretary Ann Atkinson said: “At Langley Park we believe our responsibilities to children and parents involve creating the safest possible environment and ensuring there are sufficient members of staff properly trained in first aid.  The excellent training provided by Salus means we are prepared to respond in the event of an emergency.”

Salus offers schools, nurseries, child-minders and foster carers a unique Blended Paediatric course which allows half of the training to be carried out online, reducing time away from work.  It also runs Family First Aid Days to provide training and raise awareness.

For more information visit Salus First Aid Training’s website www.salusfirstaidtraining.co.uk