Thames ARG Jan 2013 Club Night

Thames ARG LogoFriday the 4th of January saw the first of the Thames Amateur Radio Group‘s 2013 club nights.

The topic for the event held at Jubilee Hall on Canvey Island, was First Aid Basics. Those of us who’ve recently completed one or more of the amateur radio exams will know that safety makes up an important part of what we do, and the exam syllabus highlights the perils of ladder misuse, high voltages, conductors, RF fields and tripping over cables.

Having a working knowledge of the right thing to do in an emergency is hugely important – it’s a skill that far too few of us have, and by knowing something as simple as how to get someone into the recovery position while help’s on the way,  you could help to save the life of a fellow ham or member of the public out on a field day.

Experienced First Aider and medical professional Holly Jane Sanderson gave an excellent talk to the assembled members and guests on the right way to handle medical emergencies such as dealing with shock victims, fractures, burns, heart attacks, lacerations and strokes. Holly also showed how to administer CPR, how to get a victim into the recovery position and how to help someone who’s choking.

Those attending First Aid presentations in the past will be familiar with Annie, the resuscitation doll, and she was on hand to help with a practical session after the teabreak (including a loud and rhythmic demonstration from Bruce 2E0CPQ on how to help a choke victim!). Holly’s sister Suzy was also drafted to help with tying a sling and being put into the recovery position.

Help came from some of the audience too, with one TARG club member explaining how to administer his Epi pen should he have an allergic reaction, and another explaining the symptoms of hypoglycaemia. Other medics in the audience were also able offer handy lifesaving tips (such as the use of cling film on burns) and help to field questions from the audience.

Holly Sanderson Recovery Position
Holly, showing the audience how to get someone into the recovery position

The evening was well attended, and although not on a dedicated radio-related topic, stimulated lots of interest and discussion, as well as passing on information that could help us Essex Hams save a life. More information on basic first aid can be found on the St John’s Ambulance website at

In addition to the talk on first aid, club members had the opportunity to do some operating from the shack, win a prize in the TARG raffle, order some of the new range of club merchandise, and pick up a box of free energy-efficient lightbulbs. Tea, coffee and biscuits were on hand, especially helpful to keep sugar levels up for anyone left a little queasy by the discussion of various medical mishaps.

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