'At the age of 12, I earned my first First Aid badge with the BB's - then the Advanced badge, then the Super-Dooper Advanced badge! .. and I've held the equivalent of the HSE First Aid at Work qualification ever since - even when I was actually too young to get it! .. shortly after, I became involved with swimming coaching and moved on to Lifesaving Clubs.

In 1994 I became a Royal Life Saving Society Trainer Assessor and started training in earnest. In the meantime I joined the Metropolitan Police exposing me to real nitty-gritty first aid - less about feints and sprained ankles, more about blood in the gutter, and cars on their roofs. In that time I was commended five times, twice for life-saving actions.

In the last 15 years or so, I was heavily involved in the on-the-job training of probationers, and this was something I enjoyed enormously, so when I retired it was no great surprise (well, not to me, anyway), that I found myself in Iraq, training the cops out there in stuff like human rights(!), diversity(!!) and, of course, First Aid.

More recently I've been building my business, working as a free-lance trainer for a number of training companies, teaching First Aid and Safety skills to construction workers, social workers, policemen, doctors, child-minders, nurses, mechanics and dentists, to name but a few. These diverse groups of people all learn in different ways, and I have honed my teaching skills, and develop different ways of presenting the same material to different groups - the HSE syllabus stays the same, but construction workers need different emphasis to say, nursery workers.

In the meantime, I've also been broadening my own skill base, and I can now provide training in Fire Safety, Display Screen Safety, Manual Handling, etc. I'm also qualified to train ISO auditors.

My main passion, though, is always first aid. Most of my courses are work related, and yet first aid is not work-bound - statistically, anyone doing really serious, lifesaving first aid is far more likely to be in their own home, with someone they know, and very likely someone they love. Which is why I often say that a first aid course could well prove to be the most important course of your life - or maybe someone else's.'

Training4Life is constantly adding and updating courses and we're happy to develop bespoke training programs for your company.

Ian Dargie
Training4Life (Scotland)