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Haverhill school puts on first aid training after teacher saves Antony Costa’s baby

Gemma Simmons and Tujan Sari (back) with students ar Churchill Special Free School ANL-150316-103256001
Gemma Simmons and Tujan Sari (back) with students ar Churchill Special Free School ANL-150316-103256001

After helping save the life of a pop star’s baby, a Haverhill woman is leading the drive for better first aid knowledge in schools.

As reported in last week’s Haverhill Echo, Gemma Simmons, a teaching assistant at Churchill Special Free School, helped when Blue star Antony Costa’s eight-month-old daughter had a seizure on March 3.

Miss Simmons said: “After reading the article in the Echo, a lot of the children came up to me and said they didn’t know what a seizure is.

“We thought it was important to bring in a trainer and offer some sessions in school. It gives them more confidence to react in a situation and you never know when you’re going to need it.

“In a seizure situation, it’s about staying calm.”

Churchill Special Free School, a school for young people with speech, language and interaction needs, held a first aid tutorial for pupils and will hold follow up sessions to help them to gain the skills and confidence necessary to respond in emergency situations.

Ælun Crombie, 13, is a student at the school.

“It’s obviously important to learn first aid,” he said. “You could be saving someone’s life. It could be someone who is going to contribute to one of the world’s greatest developments.

“The fact is, you could save a human being’s life.”

Headteacher, Georgina Ellis, praised Miss Simmons and highlighted the importance of improving first aid knowledge amongst the school’s pupils.

“When Gemma did an interview with Radio Suffolk, we broadcast it to the whole school,” said Mrs Ellis. “It was really nice to see them asking so many questions and taking part.

“We’ve had training for all our staff. We think it’s great to be able to offer something for our pupils as well.

“It’s lovely to be able to give something back as a school. Training like that can come in useful any place, any time.”

First aid tutor, Tujan Sari, said: “They [the pupils] can’t get a full qualification until they’re 16 but they can learn the basic techniques incase something happens.

“They need to know what to do and who to call. Next, we’ll move onto CPR and putting people into the recovery position.

“In most situations, doing something is better than doing nothing at all.”

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