Now, I'm no expert but surely there are too many bandages on that arm? It's called tying a sling, not mummification!

I began a First Aid course last Saturday and was introduced to ABCs.  ‘A little late in life,’ I hear you cry but in the First Aid world ABC refers to Airway, Breathing and Circulation.  See, I listened, I may yet be able to save somebody’s life if the panic doesn’t engulf me and send me into my own private heart attack , that is.

I must admit, when asked to imagine that a dummy was a casualty in front of the whole class I stared at it with pressure induced blankness.  I mean, the situation wasn’t even real and I froze.  I wasn’t completely alone in my shame, two other girls were also called up  to demonstrate their new skills.  Desperately, I tried to hide behind one of them.  This was only ever going to work if she was a giant as I am 5t 8 and was wearing heels.  She was not a giant.  So, I looked like a great big cowardly custard and began to tremble like one too.  After a few seconds (which felt like eternity) I gathered the power of speech.

“The airway,” I croaked in a voice that didn’t sound like mine, (well, I did have a cough that day).  “We need to open the airway, tilt the chin using two fingers.”  Next, I attempted a rather clumsy ‘top to toe’ examination which apparently wasn’t ‘thorough’ enough.  So no credit for remembering I had to do the thing at all?  The First Aid world is tough, my friends.  Well, I suppose it is life or death.

Later, I struggled with the sling tying section.  I’m guessing the kind of woman who can deftly tie a sling was a proud girl guide and has matured with smooth efficiency.  She isn’t afraid to iron, has ‘packing light’ down to an art form and abides by lemon fresh.  I will never be that woman so please, don’t break your arm around me, unless you really have to.

I left the class with my ears full of stories from the ambulance.

“Remember the guy who belly-flopped onto barbed wire?”

“Yeah, and the guy whose lung was punctured by a church steeple.”

They even tried to mercilessly weed out the squeamish among us by showing us close ups of mangled limbs.  I must be tough because my stomach only gave the slightest flicker of protest, (just glad I ate a plain lunch.)  I can’t wait until next week when I get to spend all day with my friend ‘the dummy’.  At least there is no cloth or tying involved in CPR.  I should be able to manage it if I can only control my stage fright 😉

The positive side of all this is that I’m going to be left with some really valuable knowledge which could make a difference in an emergency.  Meanwhile, the acute embarassment will provide me with great ideas for writing romantic comedy!  And no, the dummy will not be the hero . .

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K. S. Moore is a Welsh Poet and Writer, based in Ireland. Her poetry has recently appeared in The Stinging Fly, Southword and Crannog.Online magazines: Nutshells and Nuggets, And Other Poems, and Ink Sweat and Tears have also featured poems. Meanwhile, flash fiction and short stories have been published in FlashFlood, Metazen, Number Eleven and The Bohemyth.K. S. Moore has been shortlisted for Flash Mob 2013, Blog Awards Ireland and 99 Fiction. She has performed at Waterford Writers' Weekend, Waterford Winterval and Swansea's Dylan Thomas Festival.


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