In August 2021, eighteen-year-old Hermione Cosser, from Langport, Somerset, found herself drawing on her skills learnt during her Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) training to help a lady in need.

Hermione was on a trip to Ghana as part of a Public Health Internship with Projects Abroad with her friend and travelled at the weekends to see different parts of Ghana when she was not volunteering. One weekend Hermione and her friend were visiting Boti Falls when she noticed that a lady was in distress as she had fallen over a branch and injured herself. On further investigation, Hermione realised that the lady had quite a deep wound on her shin and was attracting quite a crowd around her who were about to dress the wound with some banana leaves they had gathered.

Hermione immediately drew on her skills from her various qualifications and awards from RLSS UK; including her Lifeguard qualification and numerous lifesaving awards from the Survive & Save programme, as well as her experience volunteering at her local lifesaving club, and was able to assist the lady.

Despite the language barrier between Hermione and the injured lady, Hermione managed to assist her by using a first aid kit which she carried with her. By speaking slowly, she was able to calm the lady and assess the situation, Hermione managed to gather further information to help to decide the appropriate action.

After washing the wound, Hermione realised that although it was not bleeding too badly, no pressure could be applied because of how deep and open the wound was. Using a sterile bandage Hermione dressed the wound and then assisted the lady back to the waiting area of the popular tourist attraction and advised the lady and her friends that she would need to seek help at a hospital as the wound would most likely require stitches.

Hermione commented, “If I hadn’t had all the training and practice through lifesaving, I wouldn’t have known what to do in that situation and felt so confident in what I was doing.”

In November 2021, Hermione was presented with a certificate of Meritorious Action for Lifeguards which is awarded to those who have performed rescues using their lifeguarding skills, at RLSS UK’s annual Honours awards held at Worcester Cathedral. Hermione added “I was surprised and happy to receive the award as I wasn’t expecting it.”

Hermione has been at her lifesaving club since the age of thirteen, completing all of the qualifications available to her as her aim was to be a lifeguard.

Lee Heard, Charity Director at RLSS UK commented “It is great to see young people like Hermione using the skills they have learned during their training with RLSS UK. Hermione was able to act quickly and help the injured person which shows her fantastic commitment and understanding of her lifesaving training.

“I would urge every young person to find a local club or lifesaving class, it’s great fun and gives you the skills and confidence to be a lifesaver.”

Find out more about lifesaving awards

RLSS UK's Lifesaver-Lifechanger Toolkit

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