26th March was a day I’d been looking forward to - the LAM First Aid course presented by Jim Foster at Tatsfield Village Hall (TVH).
The clocks went forward an hour in the small hours, so I was deprived of an hour’s sleep - on top of having to get up earlier than I‘m used to!
I showered, dressed and took the boss her morning tea, then grabbed a bowl of porridge and a cuppa myself. Jim had warned us to take lunch with us - so I prepared my favourite sandwiches with my own home made bread, washed a couple of apples and packed those carefully with two bottles of sparkling water.
Jim had also asked that we take our bike jackets and helmets. As it was raining torrentially and threatened to rain all day, I left my gleaming new Honda NT1100 in the garage and travelled by car to Tatsfield. I’m glad I did as the “river” crossings near Biggin Hill and Tatsfield would have caused me to turn back home! But that said, a couple of hardy Lamkins arrived by bike!
As I introduced myself to Jim, I realised that I’d left my lunch at home on my kitchen table! Thank goodness Jim knew of a small shop nearby and, braving the downpour, I bought myself a couple of sandwiches. Now I’m the “chef” in my home and I make a mean sandwich too. Those shop bought sandwiches were not worth eating. So I didn’t.
After some DIY TVH coffee, kindly made for me by Nigel, another course attender, and after introducing myself to some others, we settled to listen to Jim’s presentation.
Jim quickly displayed an inimitable sense of humour - a bit like in courtroom games played by advocates (I’m a retired solicitor advocate) Jim couldn’t resist reminding me in front of my other 11 classmates of me having forgotten to bring my lunch! His humour got worse too…
Many had taken a first aid course before and some not. But Jim pitched the course at a level we could all follow. Explaining everything from amputation to unconsciousness and choking to heart attacks is no simple job, but Jim achieved it all with humour in spades-full.
We practiced cardio pulmonary resuscitation, recovery positioning and were shown how to apply a tourniquet “to save a life but not the limb”. Useful stuff in every situation…
The only downside was that it was cold in TVH. A visiting alien might have wondered why we had our coats on, sitting there like Eskimos, and why grown men were rolling around the floor wearing bikers’ jackets and full face helmets. But we knew why as Jim had explained all. I guess that the weather will be warmer when the next LAM first aid course is held, so get yourself booked for that ASAP, or you might end up on the cold course next March!
Was it worth attending? A very loud YES! If all I do is to comfort a family member when they cut a finger, and not have to respond to the call “biker down”, and deal with broken limbs, I’ll be happy. But at least I can tackle both now Jim has taught me how to handle many first aid emergencies that life can throw in my direction.
Don’t delay. Book your first aid course with Jim today!
Graham Dobson LAM 3076
About me: I’m 73 and ridden bikes for about 60 years (another story). But I took a break from riding in the 80s until last year, and after a couple of Phoenix courses, I’m now the proud owner of a gleaming new Honda NT1100A. For personal reasons I’ve not yet completed my Assessment or Observed rides, but I’m booked to go to Norfolk at the end of April. I cannot wait!
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