UK & World News
First Aid: Advert Aims To Increase Awareness
A hard-hitting new advert by St John Ambulance launches today to encourage people to learn the basic first steps needed in any first aid emergency.
In the advert, a boy and his father play in a garden as the mother looks on through the kitchen window.
The boy climbs a tree but a branch breaks and he falls to the ground but his father is left screaming for help as viewers are asked to find out how to save the boy.
The advert was created by Dougal Wilson, the man behind some of TV's most iconic commercials including the John Lewis Christmas adverts, after he was placed in a situation where he did not have first aid skills.
A young boy asked him for assistance when his grandfather suffered a suspected cardiac arrest at a London Underground station, but Mr Wilson was unable to help.
He said: "When I was asked to get involved in this campaign I was already committed to another project but it proved hard for me to turn down.
"Someone needed my help but I didn't know first aid, and I will always feel I could have done more.
"First aid is so simple to learn and I hope this film encourages more people to be the difference between life and death."
Research by St John Ambulance found that 41% of people said it would take the death of a loved one to make them learn first aid and 55% of parents lacked the necessary skills to save their child in the event of a life-threatening accident.
Sue Killen, chief executive of St John Ambulance, said: "It's devastating that over two-fifths of people say it would take something as severe as the death of a loved one to make them learn first aid.
"Unfortunately, our volunteers can't be everywhere so we've developed an online experience to help more people be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. We don't want anyone to be helpless in a first aid situation especially when learning life saving skills is so simple."
The advert does not show how to help the boy but full instructions on what to do in such an event can be found on the St John Ambulance website.
These involve checking on a person's breathing and making sure their airway is open before calling 999 or 112 for medical assistance.