Hello from sunny Bristol!
St John Ambulance (SJA) is the nation’s leading first aid charity, training over 400,000 people on life-saving first aid skills every year. SJA volunteers provide first aid cover across the country for all sorts of events, big and small, as well as working alongside the NHS in responding to 999 calls.
I have been with the organisation for over 14 years now, starting at the age of six when I joined as a ‘badger’ (the name for SJA’s youngest members). I then became a cadet at the age of 10 and I am now currently an operational first aider, helping to provide first aid treatment to thousands of members of the public at various events. Each year SJA as an organisation treat many thousands of casualties, with the South West Region treating over 2400 patients during the 5579 events covered in 2015.
The aim of my project is to analyse the injury data from the events covered in South West Region during 2015 to identify any patterns or trends in injury occurrence which may help SJA to reflect how volunteers are trained going forward. I also intend to identify high-risk events where particular injuries occur, with the vision of providing more specific training to volunteers in these areas, allowing for the optimal care and treatment of our patients.
During my first few days so far I have been using SJA’s online platform ‘DIPS’ (Duty and Information Planning System) to trawl through hundreds of events covered by Central District (one of the five districts that make up South West Region) and extract the information I need to fulfil the aims of my project. Having created a spreadsheet of the data, I have been able to present this data visually in the form of graphs and charts, which will be included in my report detailing the results/findings of this project. Tomorrow, I need to contact the unit managers across the South West region to ask for their first aid training programmes (so I can compare the first aid taught to volunteers against the typical injuries treated) and also create a survey that I plan to distribute to volunteers to gain an insight into their experience of treating patients whilst out on duty. Hopefully this will allow me to analyse the results of the survey as I enter the second week of the project.
The week so far has certainly been insightful. It is interesting to see the different types of events covered by SJA and the areas that are ‘higher risk’ for more serious injuries. It has also been an opportunity to experience working in an office environment on a 9-5 daily basis. Although having known some of the staff here for many years, there are still new people I meet each day and I’m made to feel very welcome (I was even given my own desk space, computer and had a swipe pass made, so felt just like one of the team!).
To complete this post, here’s a recent throwback to when I made my SJA debut at Lords. Today is the first day of the England vs Pakistan test match at Lords Cricket Ground, which is where you’d probably find me (if I were not in the office here in Bristol!), helping to provide first aid cover for the 29000 spectators at the home of cricket!