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St. Andrew's First Aid

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St. Andrew's First Aid

St Andrew's First Aid
Logo of St Andrew's First Aid
Formation 1882
Type Charitable organisation
Headquarters St Andrew's House, 48 Milton Street, Glasgow, G4 0HR
Chairman of Council
Mr Rudy Crawford
£100.9m per annum[2]

St Andrew's Ambulance Association trading as St Andrew's First Aid is a charity based in Scotland. Founded in 1882, St Andrew's was Scotland's first ambulance service. The association seeks to preserve the lives of people in Scotland by through the provision of education and emergency first aid at events throughout Scotland.


  • About the organisation 1
  • First Aid courses 2
    • Public courses 2.1
    • Workplace courses 2.2
  • St Andrew's Ambulance Corps 3
    • Structure 3.1
    • Further training 3.2
    • Duties 3.3
    • Uniform 3.4
  • Relationship with other organisations 4
  • History 5
    • Formation and early years 5.1
    • First World War 5.2
    • Between World Wars 5.3
    • Second World War 5.4
  • References 6
  • External links 7
    • Executive Committee pages 7.1

About the organisation

The St Andrew's National Headquarters is based at Cowcaddens in Glasgow. It exists to promote the teaching of first aid, supplying first aid equipment and supplies and providing event cover.[3] It achieves the latter by virtue of St Andrew's Ambulance Corps, made up of volunteers who devote their time to care for the sick and injured.[4]

National Headquarters in Glasgow

In overall control is the Board of trustees who are elected each year and others who are appointed due to skills they hold.

Council also delegates its power to a number of different entities:

  • Committees of Council - These each have their own remit, such as fundraising or medical and first aid protocols.
  • Commandant-in-Chief of the Corps - This medically qualified person is responsible for the administration, organisation and discipline of the Corps.
  • Chief Executive Officer - A person responsible for achieving the policies set down by council; they are also responsible for the day-to-day running of the Association and its staff.
  • Executive Committees - These groups are responsible for the management of the assets and affairs of the Association in their local area. There are 6 in total, and the membership is mainly St Andrew's volunteers.
  • Staff of National Headquarters - Are employed to assist in the administration of the Association and Corps.[5]

First Aid courses

St Andrew's offers a wide variety of courses to the general public and in the workplace:

Public courses

Standard First Aid

This is a comprehensive 24-hour course that covers most aspects of basic first aid, including:

Emergency First Aid

This is a 4-hour course, that is designed to give a brief overview of some of the key first aid skills (such as CPR, choking and control of bleeding).[7]

Emergency Resuscitation

This is a 2-hour course that teaches basic life support skills.[8]

Junior First Aid

This course that has been developed to teach a variety of first aid skills to children under the age of 15.[9]

Sports Injuries First Aid

This course places particular emphasis on injuries that might be encountered in a sporting environment (fractures, spinal injuries etc.), whilst also encouraging record keeping and advice on what a sports first aid kit should contain.[10]

Baby and Child First Aid

This course is particularly aimed at parents and those who work with young children, as it focuses on baby and child CPR and choking procedures as well as recognition and treatment of common childhood illnesses and injuries.[11]

Anaphylaxis Awareness

This is a 4-hour course that is entirely centred on anaphylaxis: causes, the effects on the body, recognition and treatment. There is a section on the use of an EpiPen, and opportunity to use a practice EpiPen.[12]

Workplace courses

First Aid at Work

This 18-hour-long course covers most of what is done in Standard First Aid, but also provides information on relevant laws and advice on contents of first aid boxes and rooms.[13]

Emergency First Aid at Work

This one day course is more basic than First Aid at Work, that is similar in scope to Emergency First Aid.[14]

St Andrew's Ambulance Corps

The Corps was formed in 1904, in order to bring together the various ambulance Corps that had formed and to allow these people to improve their first aid skills by practising together and being available at public gathering.[15] The aim of the Corps has not changed over the past 100 years, and today it still exists and provides an opportunity for people to practice and use their first aid skills.


The Corps is made up from over 69 Corps Companies, each of which are based within a specific area and come under the administration of one of the Executive Committees. Overall control of the Corps comes from the Association, with National Headquarters providing administrative support.[16]

A Corps Company consists of volunteer members who attend regular training meetings, go on duty to provide first aid cover at events and oversee the general running of the company. There are a number of different roles within a Corps Company:

  • Associate Member - Someone who does not hold a Standard First Aid certificate, but is involved in the running of the company in some other way (fundraising, accounts, administration etc.).
  • Member - Someone who holds a Standard First Aid Certificate, and attends events as a first aider as well helping in the running of the company.
  • Secretary - The person who performs general administrative duties such as taking minutes at AGMs or distributing correspondence from the Association.
  • Treasurer - The person who administers company accounts, as well as paying expenses to members (for travel to/from duties).
  • Public Duty Officer - The person who organises the first aid cover required at duties, and keeps a record of casualties treated.
  • Commandant - The person in overall charge of the company.
  • Deputy Commandant - The person who supports the work of the Commandant
  • Assistant Commandant - This position (or positions) is only present in larger companies, in which the Commandant and Deputy may require more support in running of the company.
  • Section Leader - Larger companies may also have section leaders who are responsible for certain roles, and groups of members, allowing commandants to focus on the overall running of the company.
  • Honorary Medical Officer - A medically qualified person, who advises the company on medical and first aid matters and can also attend public duties.
  • Trainer/Assesor - A member who has undertaken the Trainer/Assesor course, so that they can provide training to the Corps Company as well as to the public.
  • Youth Leaders - A member responsible for training and leadership of the youth groups in the Company.[17]

Further training

Members of the Corps are constantly updating their first aid skill at regular meetings, however there is also opportunity to undertake further training courses:

  • Automated External Defibrillation - A course that allows members to use an AED whilst on duty[18]
  • Moving and Handling - A comprehensive course that covers safe handling and transport of casualties. Techniques taught include scoop stretcher, spinal board, cervical collar, trolley bed, carry chairs and carry sheets.[19]
  • Leadership Course- A course that allows members to take up the positions of Commandant, Deputy Commandant or Assistant Commandant.[20]

There is also training in radio communications, as radios are used by members at many duties in order to help speed up communications, and better mobilise members and equipment in response to incidents.[21]


The Corps supplies members to duties across the country, ranging from village fêtes to international sporting events and music festivals. For example, St Andrew's provides cover at Scotland's three largest stadia (Celtic Park, Hampden Park, Ibrox Stadium), as well as major festivals such as T in the Park and Live at Loch Lomond.


Backpack style first aid kit

St Andrew's first aiders are required to wear uniform when on duty and are encouraged to wear it whenever they are representing the organisation.

  • Uniform - Black combat trousers, white shirt (with Association logo), and soft shell. This uniform can be used for public duties.

In addition, there are high visibility jackets, hard hats, ski hats, waterproof jackets and backpack style first aid kits.[22]

Relationship with other organisations

St Andrew's, St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross Society collectively form the Voluntary Aid Societies. Together, the organisations produce the official First Aid Manual in the United Kingdom.

Following an agreement in 1908, St John Ambulance ceased to operate in Scotland and St Andrew's ceased to operate in England.[23] St Andrew's enjoys goods relations with the British Red Cross, and they often work in partnership at larger duties such as T in the Park.


Formation and early years

In 1882, St Andrew's Ambulance Association was formed in Glasgow by a group of local doctors and businessmen who were concerned by the rapid increase in accidents resulting from traffic and modern machinery. First aid and casualty transportation classes were conducted and Scotland's first ambulance was bought by the Association in April 1882, which served Glasgow and the surrounding area providing first aid and transportation to hospital to accident victims. In the following years, the number of calls the Association responded to grew so as by 1886 there were six ambulances stationed in towns throughout Scotland.[24]

Dr George Beatson's Ambulance Hand-book (5th ed.)

In order to make teaching more uniform, in 1891 the Association published

  • Dundee & Angus Executive Committee
  • Edinburgh, Lothian & Borders Executive Committee
  • Central Scotland & Fife Executive Committee
  • Glasgow & West of Scotland Executive Committee
  • Grampian & Highlands Executive Committee
  • South West Scotland Executive Committee

Executive Committee pages

  • St Andrew's First Aid
  • St Andrew's First Aid Training Courses
  • St Andrew's First Aid Supplies
  • St Andrews Ambulance Association - National HQ, Registered Charity no. SC006750 at the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
  • St Andrew's First Aid Australia

External links

  1. ^ St Andrew's First Aid (2005). "Annual Report and Accounts" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  2. ^ St Andrew's First Aid (2006). "Annual Report and Accounts" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  3. ^ St Andrew's First Aid. "What We Do". Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  4. ^ St Andrew's First Aid (2005). Corps Regulations. Glasgow. Chapter 1, pages 3. 
  5. ^ St Andrew's Ambulance Association (2005). Practices and Procedures Document of St Andrew's Ambulance Association. Glasgow. pp. 7–11. 
  6. ^ Standard First Aid
  7. ^ Emergency First Aid
  8. ^ Save a Life
  9. ^ St Andrew's Ambulance Association. "Central Information". Archived from the original on 2007-07-30. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  10. ^ Sports Injuries First Aid
  11. ^ Baby and Child First Aid
  12. ^ Anaphylaxis Awareness
  13. ^ First Aid at Work Course
  14. ^ Emergency First Aid at Work Course
  15. ^ a b c d St Andrew's Ambulance Association. "Our History". Archived from the original on 2007-07-04. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  16. ^ St Andrew's Ambulance Association (2005). Corps Regulations. Glasgow. Chapter 2, pages 4–5. 
  17. ^ St Andrew's Ambulance Association (2005). Corps Regulations. Glasgow. Chapter 3, pages 4–12. 
  18. ^ St Andrew's Ambulance Association. "Volunteering FAQs". Archived from the original on 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  19. ^ St Andrew's Ambulance Association. "Moving and Handling - Casualties". Archived from the original on 2007-09-25. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  20. ^ St Andrew's Ambulance Association (2005). Corps Regulations. Glasgow. Chapter 3, page 6. 
  21. ^ St Andrew's Ambulance Association (2005). Corps Regulations. Glasgow. Chapter 9, page 4. 
  22. ^ St Andrew's Ambulance Association (2005). Corps Regulations. Glasgow. Chapter 6, pages 3–6. 
  23. ^ The Order of St John. "Historical Background". Archived from the original on 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  24. ^ a b c d St Andrew's Ambulance Association (1983). The history of St. Andrew's Ambulance Association, 1882-1982. Glasgow: St Andrew's Ambulance Association. 
  25. ^ Bowser, Thekla (1917). The story of British V.A.D. work in the Great War. London: Imperial War Museum. pp. 281–284.  
  26. ^ Scottish Ambulance Service. "The History of Scottish Ambulance Service". Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  27. ^ Dundee and Angus Executive Committee. "St Andrew's Ambulance - Our History". Retrieved 2007-09-06. 


  • 1882: Founded in Royal Charter was granted by Queen Victoria.
  • 1904: St. Andrew's Ambulance Corps was formed.
  • 1918: The St. Andrew's Ambulance Association were donated ambulances from the British Red Cross Society, which were unused after the First World War.
  • 1928: The Association's Headquarters opened in North Street, Glasgow.
  • 1937: Royal Patronage was granted, with The Queen as patron.
  • 1946: St Andrew's Ambulance Association and the British Red Cross Scottish Branch agree to pool ambulance resources only (all other activities of both organisations remain independent) and form St. Andrew's and Red Cross Scottish Ambulance Service.
  • 1948: The National Health Service was formed, and the St. Andrew's and Red Cross Scottish Ambulance Service was contracted to provide the ambulance service.
  • 1954: The first joint First Aid manual of St. Andrew's Ambulance Association, St. John Ambulance and British Red Cross Society was published.
  • 1967: The British Red Cross Society withdrew from the ambulance service, which became St. Andrew's Scottish Ambulance Service, the sole contractor for the provision of the ambulance service.
  • 26 June 1970: The Queen Mother opened the Association's new National Headquarters in Milton Street, Glasgow. The relocation had been necessary due to the construction of the M8 motorway.
  • 2 January 1971: St. Andrew's Ambulance Association first aiders were faced with the Ibrox disaster while on duty at Ibrox stadium.
  • 1974: The Scottish Ambulance Service was taken over by Common Services Agency of the NHS. St Andrew's Ambulance Association continued to provide First Aid services and training.
  • 1978: The Corps celebrated its 75th anniversary.
  • 1982: The Association celebrated its centenary, with a service of thanksgiving at Glasgow Cathedral, attended by the Queen Mother.
  • 1993: The Association bought its first defibrillator, with training provided by Scottish Ambulance Service.
  • 2004: The Corps celebrated its centenary.
  • 2006: The organisation underwent a change in corporate identity, renaming its public facing areas as St Andrew's First Aid[15][26][27]
  • 2010: The headquarters underwent a massive refurbishment.

The Association faced the task of preparing the Scottish public for air raids, and it responded by providing classes in Aid Raid Precautions, Anti-Gas Precautions and First Aid for air raid casualties. As the First World War, St Andrew's was active in the war effort: the Corps provided thousands of staff for the Civil Nursing Reserve, transportation of casualties after air raids and providing first aid and nursing training to school children. In Glasgow, the Association provided accommodation for the newly formed Blood Transfusion Service, as well as arranging free transport for donors.

Second World War

[15].patron, as The Queen Mother, later known as The Queen By 1939, the Association was granted Royal Patronage, with [24] After the First World War ended, the

Between World Wars

Within 48 hours of war being declared, the Corps was able to entirely staff all of Scotland's military hospitals, freeing the regular staff for service. In addition to this, St Andrew's were also able to assemble two Foreign Service Units (which served in France and in hospital ships), a Military Nursing Service (derived from females Corps members) and a transport service alongside the British Red Cross attending to wounded soldiers from hospital trains.[25] Whilst all of this was happening, St Andrew's usual civilian work of first aid training and casualty transportation continued unabated (albeit the additional services placed strain on the Association's funds).[24]

First World War

At the turn of the century, the Association underwent two major changes: In 1899, a Royal Charter was granted by Queen Victoria that changed the Association from a collection of individuals to a legally recognised single entity and in 1904 the St Andrew's Ambulance Corps was formed to bring together the various ambulance groups around the country under a single administration.[15]


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