How to save a life

You are out with friends having fun and someone becomes seriously ill or has an accident – would you know what to do to help them until the emergency services arrive?

The South Marr Community Safety Group is launching the first in what is hoped to be a series of DVDs aimed at preparing young people to deal with emergency situations where someone becomes ill or has an accident.

The first film - launched at Aboyne Theatre this week - concentrates on how to deal with someone who may become unconscious or ill after drinking alcohol.

Roddy Lees, a member of the South Marr Community Safety Group (SMCSG) and Watch Manager for Banchory Fire station, has led on the ‘First on Scene’ project and has worked closely with Aberdeen College to produce the DVD.

Roddy said: “The First on Scene Alcohol Project is a brilliant example of public sector agencies working together and producing fantastic results. The project has already been commended for the knowledge that the students gain from it, which is a great reflection on the professionalism of everyone involved.

“The students are provided with lifesaving skills, which they will hopefully never have to use, to help them deal with emergency situations confidently and quickly”.

Paul Adderton, Multimedia Centre manager at Aberdeen College, was approached to help with the production of the DVD. His HND Creative Industries: TV students have previously produced work for a number of organisations including Grampian Police and the NHS.

Paul said: “We are pleased to be involved in the production of these DVDs as it enables students to further enhance the new found skills and to enable them to experience, first hand, the filming of real life scenarios.

“Working to a live brief is valuable experience for the students who scripted, produced and directed the DVD. In addition, Performing Arts students were enlisted as actors and a Visual Communication student designed the art work for the DVD cover and the teaching materials.

“The students have filmed a second DVD, which is in post-production and are currently planning a third which they will shoot in the new year.”

Gavin Cooper, the student who wrote and directed the DVD, said: “Producing this DVD has given me the opportunity to use my television production skills in a real life scenario and to provide the community with both an educational and informative video on alcohol abuse.”

The Aberdeenshire Community Safety Partnership has supported the project financially and this will help in rolling out the DVD to young people in Aberdeenshire and will be offered to others in Moray and Aberdeen City.

Input to the DVD has been provided by Grampian Fire and Rescue Service, Grampian Police, Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS Grampian, South Marr Community Safety Group, Banchory Community Council, Aberdeenshire Council Community Learning and Development Service at Banchory and Aboyne, Aberdeen College and the British Red Cross.

Geoff Feeney, Chairman of the South Marr Community Safety Group, said: “This is an extremely worthwhile project which the SMCSG has been excited to be involved with and it links very closely to other ongoing, proactive initiatives within the Partnership.

“What might start out as relatively innocent fun can very quickly go wrong. This, and the subsequent DVD series, will help arm young people with the appropriate competency and knowledge to cope and deal with emergency situations.”

Councillor Jill Webster, who represents the Marr Area Committee on the South Marr Community Safety Group, said: “We must accept the reality that as young people grow they will experiment with things like alcohol and the likelihood that some may find themselves in trouble as they push the boundaries.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that we prepare them as best we can to know what to do if someone needs help. This DVD is a wonderful resource and I hope that it will benefit everyone who watches it.”

The DVD will be rolled out to young people initially by Community Learning and Development staff in Banchory and Aboyne.

Anyone wishing to access the DVD and related training material should contact should contact Roddy Lees at