Last week we launched our Save the boy campaign after our research found that shockingly, over half of parents (55%) lack the skills needed to save their child in a life-threatening incident.
St John Ambulance wants to encourage more people to learn basic first aid and so on Monday 16 September we launched an emotive TV advert on ITV. It was aired for the first time on Monday, during the drama Doc Martin. Have you seen our campaign film yet?
In case you haven't seen it, a young boy and his father are playing in a garden as the mother seemingly looks on through the kitchen window. The boy climbs a tree but a branch breaks and he falls to the ground with a sickening thud. The shocked mother runs out of the kitchen as we hear that she is a St John Ambulance volunteer, with the first aid knowledge to save lives. But as she reaches the garden we realise she has no connection to the father and boy after all and has rushed out to take her washing in from the rain...meanwhile in the empty park the boy is unconscious with the dad screaming for help.
As terrifying as this situation would be for anyone, because I am a first aid trainer, I would know exactly what to do in this situation. Many people, however, would feel utterly helpless.
Carrying out the primary survey and putting someone in the recovery position is one of the most important things to know in any first aid emergency. To ensure more people have this vital life saving skill, at the end of the advert, viewers are encouraged to learn how to save the boy.
Our quick and simple interactive teaches users the first aid needed to keep the boy alive. It talks you through the basic steps required in any first aid emergency and will hopefully give people the confidence to act and stay calm, if the worst were to happen to someone around them.
The campaign has already created a huge amount of discussion and debate on social media, with tweeters using the hash tag #savetheboy. It has even gained interest from celebrities such as Ben Fogle and actress Samia Ghadie who tweeted about their own first aid emergencies after watching the advert.
Ultimately it is our own responsibility to equip ourselves with essential first aid skills. But worryingly, the research found that when faced with treating someone for a fall - the same situation as the one in the film - most parents would not know the correct way to help. Our research also found that despite 65% of parents claiming to know basic first aid, over half of those surveyed (57%) said they would leave the boy until an ambulance arrived, which would not be the correct procedure.
We are conscious, however, that for many people, it's not always easy to find the time or money to go on a first aid course. Although getting trained on a first aid course is the gold standard, we have created many online resources so that people are able to learn first aid for free, without it taking up too much of their time.
Log on to www.sja.org.uk/savetheboy either on your smart phone, iPad or computer to watch the film, learn the first aid needed to save the boy and access our range of free resources. First aid really can be at your finger tips!