Wiltshire Air Ambulance emergency training helps boy save grandfather

By Barrie Hudson - 18 September 2023

  • Maxi Bastable, centre, visited Wiltshire Air Ambulance HQ with his family

    Maxi Bastable, centre, visited Wiltshire Air Ambulance HQ with his family

An 11-year-old boy was able to save his choking grandfather thanks to emergency training provided by the Wiltshire Air Ambulance charity.

Maxi was taught lifesaving skills by the charity at his Wiltshire school last year. 

Wiltshire Air Ambulance began delivering Emergency Awareness Training in schools in 2019, which teaches children how to manage an unconscious patient, how to perform CPR and how to assist a person who is choking.

The training became a real-life scenario for Maxi when his grandfather, Francis, was eating a mint at home and started choking while his wife Patricia was outside in the garden. 

The youngster calmly took control of the situation and delivered an abdominal thrust on his grandfather to try and dislodge the sweet, which he did successfully.

Maxi recently visited Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s airbase to meet the aircrew along with mum Joanna, dad James and older brother Ted. 

Joanna said: “We’re very proud of Maxi for coming to his grandfather’s rescue and we will be forever grateful to Wiltshire Air Ambulance and its Emergency Awareness Training programme. 

“We’re based near Malmesbury and we often see the helicopter flying overhead. We always look to support the charity and we are part of the Somerford & District Show, held annually in August, which raises funds for Wiltshire Air Ambulance and other local charities.”

Maxi harbours hopes to become a doctor or sportsman, while his brother is an aspiring pilot and took great pleasure in meeting pilot Elvis Costello, who was flying the helicopter on the day of the family’s visit to Semington.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance emergency awareness training instructor Andrew Robinson said: “This is exactly why the charity began the programme four years ago and we have so far delivered the training to more than 20,000 children across Wiltshire, Bath and surrounding areas. 

“It’s brilliant to hear that Maxi was able to take what he was taught by Wiltshire Air Ambulance in school and put it into practice when the need was there.”

Emergency Awareness Training bookings are full up until December, but schools wishing to benefit from the programme in 2024 should call 01225 300536. 

More information can be found at www.wiltshireairambulance.co.uk/education.

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