I was deeply saddened to read today of the death of of a young boy last November, which could have easily been prevented. I was also shocked to learn that public transport staff in the UK do not receive basic first aid training. They work with hundreds, if not thousands, of members of the public every single day – yet if you were unlucky enough to have a heart attack, epileptic fit or some other medical emergency, they wouldn’t be trained enough to help you. Please read and then sign the petition, written by the mother of Christopher, who died last November, and see what changes she wants to see so this never happens to another child.
On 13th November 2014 my son, Christopher, died on his way home on the school bus.
Christopher was my beautiful 13 year old boy. He loved playing rugby and was always laughing and making jokes and inspired people around him with his fun loving nature and zest for life. His ambition was to be a comedian!
Christopher had an epileptic seizure but the bus driver failed to stop the bus. It took over 10 minutes for an ambulance to be called and during this time Christopher was not put in a recovery position, helped or attended to in any way!
There are currently no requirements nationally for drivers of school buses to hold a basic life support qualification or to have any first aid training!
There are no protocols in place nationally to assist drivers as to what to do in an emergency situation whilst driving the bus!
As a parent you would never leave your child with someone that you know isn’t qualified to look after them even at high school age. Bus companies currently have no legal responsibility if anything happens to your child whilst under their care!
At my son’s inquest, the Coroner issued a regulation 28 report to prevent future deaths stating the following concerns:
- There is no requirement for bus companies tendering for contracts from Local Authorities to transport pupils/students to ensure all their drivers have undergone training in Basic Life Support.
- There is no requirement for drivers transporting pupils/students to hold a Basic Life Support qualification.
- No protocols were in place to assist a driver as to what to do in an emergency situation whilst driving a bus including the need to call the emergency services at the earliest opportunity.
- The school were unable to inform the bus company concerned without a formal diagnosis and to put protective measures in place.
- Basic Life Support training is not taught as a matter of course to young adults in secondary education and is not part of the national curriculum.
I am calling on the Department for Transport to review school bus driver emergency training and make it law for them to be trained in life support.
Please help to change the law to protect our children, we can’t let this happen again!
- Department of Transport
- Department of Education
- Chief Executive County Councils
- Director of school bus companies
- National Association of Head Teachers