Darren Coombs is the Training Manager at Nuco Training and looks after the Nuco Training Academy at Telford with a team of highly trained instructors who travel around the UK leading Nuco Training courses.
When did you first learn first aid and why?
I qualified as a Bronze Medallion and Award of Merit Pool Life guard in 1985 whilst living in Malaysia, which helped me to find my feet with first aid in general. In 1986 I joined Her Majesty’s Armed forces, and every year as part of the mandatory training I had to complete a series of tests. First aid or indeed ‘battle field first aid’ was an integral part of pre-deployment training and as such I continued to keep myself up to date as per protocol whilst also ensuring this information was promulgated to others.
For me, first aid is not just about bandages, triangular bandages and plasters; it’s also about providing the first line care, and immediate care when someone is suddenly taken ill or injured. In 2008 I completed an FPOS (First Person On the Scene) course as part of a CFR (Community First Responder) programme, held by the ambulance service and most recently a COMA (Clinical Observations & Medical Assessment) course, which included AMED (Awareness of Medical Emergency Drugs).
I have been involved in first aid and its associated activities for in excess of 28 years and continue to look at furthering my portfolio.
What made you choose to become a first aid instructor/trainer?
I first ventured into a teaching/training profession in 1996 qualifying as an LGV driving instructor. I found something that I excelled at and also enjoyed the rewards. The benefits of meeting people from different disciplines made my job very interesting and rewarding. I continued to develop my teaching/learning portfolio and soon became a Lift Truck, Platform, Plant, Health & Safety, Manual Handling and Tower Trainer. I developed further to become a ‘train the trainer’ assisting others to teach.
As part of my CPD and having such a positive learning experience, I decided that as I had an interest in first aid, I would like to be able to share the knowledge, which I had gained over the years with likeminded people. To that end I qualified as a first aid trainer in April 2000 with Nuco Training Limited, and developed that learning experience to train others in the ability to train.
What would you say to someone considering becoming a first aid trainer?
If you have a genuine interest in the topic and you want to shout about it, share it, demonstrate it and help others to help those that need it. Then what better way to feel the utmost satisfaction when you have assisted someone, a group of people or indeed a corporate body to meet their goals? Try it, you’ll love it, I couldn’t think of any other organisation I’d rather do it with.