Robbie’s story: “I used first aid to help save my friend’s life”

Robbie McLellan

You never know when or where you might need to use first aid to help someone, as Robbie McLellan found out when his colleague and friend Terry collapsed on the oil rig where they both work.

Fortunately, Robbie had previously done a first aid course – which meant he had the skills and confidence to help.

Acting fast when someone collapsed

Robbie was working on a remote oil rig 120 miles out into the North Sea when a colleague asked him for the on-site medic's phone number.

Wanting to find out what had happened; Robbie went to the locker room and saw his friend, Terry, collapsed on the floor. 

"My colleague told me that he fell straight back without saying anything," Robbie said. "I knew I needed to help him so I checked for signs of a response. 

"He wasn’t responding at all so I tilted his head back and listened for breathing. I also watched for his chest moving up and down but he wasn’t breathing normally; I knew then that I needed to give him chest compressions."

Robbie asked his colleague to contact the on-site medic again, as he started to perform first aid.

"I gave 30 chest compressions followed by two breaths and I repeated this twice before the medic arrived with an AED," he said.

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a machine that can shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. Anyone can use an AED – you don't need any prior training.

The medic asked Robbie to continue giving chest compressions while he switched on the AED and followed its voice prompts. The coastguard helicopter then arrived to transfer Terry to hospital.

"I was pleased I could use my first aid skills to help save my friend’s life"

Thanks to Robbie's quick actions and the use of the AED, Terry has since made a full recovery.

Robbie said, "I was pleased that I could use my first aid skills to help save my friend’s life. My training kicked in and has given me the confidence should this situation happen again.

"If I hadn’t attended the first aid course I wouldn’t have known what to do, and more importantly I wouldn’t have had the confidence to help."

Learn more about first aid

First aid skills can help to save lives and prevent minor accidents and illnesses becoming more serious.

Our interactive first aid courses teach the essential skills and confidence to help save lives when an accident strikes.

Find out more about our courses

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