15 October 2013

Uniformed young people from across all the cadet forces assembled over the weekend at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell to demonstrate practical first aid skills in the cadet forces National and Inter Services competitions. During the two competitions, Army cadets, air cadets, sea cadets and St John cadets tackled a range of demanding and realistic scenarios both as individuals and as teams.

In what are the UK’s most ambitious first aid competitions for young people, more than 40 teams took part in four separate national competitions on Saturday and in the Inter Services championships on Sunday. The cadets were tested using 12 realistic emergency scenarios aided by dramatic casualty make-up. Despite the atrocious weather three of the four team tests still took place outdoors, aided by some tentage.

Against the backdrop of the Royal Air Force College the tests used aerial themes on both days. On Saturday the ACF team were faced with a test involving an ejector seat fired accidentally from a Jet Provost aircraft - using real aircraft and an ejector seat once used for real. Then on Sunday, one of the tests involved a tandem parachute jump gone wrong. One casualty was hidden by the parachute but only three teams realised that there should be two casualties, one competitor even sitting on the hidden casualty to treat the other one! Other scenarios included gang warfare with a sawn off shotgun and a sword, and a violent collision between two cadets on scooters. The theme of the individual tests on Saturday was ‘Broken Bones’ and the tests on Sunday were based around the ‘Restart a Heart Day’.

Cadet Force champions from Saturday were: Durham Army Cadets – who won both ACF cadet and ACF young adult trophies; Dollar Academy Combined Cadet Force – CCF champions and Milford Haven Sea Cadets – SCC winners.

Brigadier David Short, newly appointed General Secretary of ACFA presented the National competition prizes on Saturday. Brigadier Short said “For a new Gen Sec it was an uplifting first visit and I saw and heard a buzz of excitement from the cadets who took part in what was a thoroughly well organised event”.

The winning teams on Saturday were joined by the Air Training Corps on Sunday for the Inter Services competitions. Ian Mackenzie, a Senior Volunteer from St John Ambulance Headquarters, presented the Inter Services trophies. Durham Army Cadet Force emerged as the Inter Service cadet champions and a team from Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire Air Training Corps were the young adult champions. Winners of the St John Cadet trophy were the renamed West Anglia cadets who won the previous year as Hertfordshire cadets.