Unfortunately, in the UK, the number of people and the number of 999 calls are outstretching the services. We have always been very reliant on calling 999 in the UK and everybody will always tell you, whether you go into big business or into private homes, “We will call an ambulance. They will be here in a couple of minutes.” Average response time in the UK currently is around 25 minutes to a 999 call and 25 minutes in a cardiac arrest is an awfully long time. The first four minutes of a cardiac arrest is vital. If those vehicles are tied up on jobs that they do not need to be in or time wasted and this sort of stuff, then it creates a bit of a backlog.
So learning first aid for yourself, whether you are on holiday, whether you are at home, whether you are at work, it does not matter where you are, you can be that vital bridge until emergency services can get to you. And that is all we want. We want to be able to do the best for you. The time constraints that we are under and the traffic problems, weather conditions, fog, snow, ice, the snow and gales we have recently had created us lots of problems getting to you. Also, think about things like making sure your house is well lit, your number plate, your number on your house is easily visible. We will get there as fast as we possibly can, but if you have done a first aid course in the initial phase, if you started to use those techniques early on, then our time is better spent getting to you while you deal with the minor stuff first and when we arrive on scene, we will then take over from you. It can make the difference between life and death, literally.