Derby Telegraph Reports: https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/mercia-marina-volunteers-learn-first-2375658
From performing potentially life-saving CPR to applying plasters and bandages, the volunteer first aiders at Mercia Marina offer a vital service.
More than 20 boaters have now signed up to become first aiders and have received full training alongside staff who work at the marina, in Willington.
Although the best advice is always to call 999 in an emergency, there are no shortage of incidents that are attended by first aiders.
Just last year, marina staff member Sarah Cunnington, who is also a first aider, received a bravery award from East Midlands Ambulance Service after she saved an unconscious 91-year-old pensioner who had fallen into the water.
Not all incidents are as dramatic as this but the first aiders offer reassurance to around 260 residents, leisure boaters and the holidaymakers at 27 lodges in the marina.
Tony Preston, sales and marketing manager at Mercia Marina, said: “We have invested heavily in this, providing initial and refresher training to over 20 volunteers, it is the volunteers who invest their time, energy and energy in providing this service. The volunteers seem inevitably to be called out in the dead of night! It is a huge commitment on their part which everyone values enormously.
“The emergency cards that we issue in our welcome information give valuable and clear instruction when calling emergency services and also carry the volunteer first aid phone number so that after calling 999 they can call whoever is on call for assistance.
We stress to all that it is always 999 first and then the first aid phone and that the service is provided on a volunteer basis so not a replacement for 999 and not guaranteed that someone will be available.
“These factors, the stress of the different situations and dynamics of responding to someone unwell on a boat are all something that the volunteers deal with on any given day.”
The marina provides equipment such as defibrillators, first aid supplies and designated parking for the first aid volunteer on call.
The marina also supports and funds the first aid training, more than 30 courses are on offer with LHS Consulting and delivered by health and safety trainer and marina resident Sue Hicks.
Sue said: “I have been here for five years and I have a background in delivering this sort of training. We’ve come a long way since we first started out and it is a rewarding thing to do.
“I think that hopefully we offer a reassuring service to people at the marina.”
Fellow first aider Wendy Bourne said: “It’s a totally voluntary service and we do our best but people are always advised to call 999 first. There’s not a week that goes by when we don’t have something to deal with.”