Emergency training helps Maxi, 11, save his grandfather

The importance of Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s Emergency Awareness Training programme has been demonstrated after 11-year-old Maxi Bastable came to the rescue of his choking grandfather.

Thursday, 07 September 2023

Emergency training helps Maxi, 11, save his grandfather

Maxi was taught lifesaving skills by the charity at his school, Westonbirt Prep in Tetbury last year.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance began delivering Emergency Awareness Training in schools in 2019, which teaches children how to manage an unconscious patient, how to perform CPR and how to assist a person who is choking.

The training became a real-life scenario for Maxi when his grandfather Francis was eating a murray mint at home and started choking while his wife Patricia was outside in the garden.

The youngster calmly took control of the situation and delivered an abdominal thrust on his grandfather to try and dislodge the sweet, which he did successfully.

Maxi recently visited Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s airbase to meet the aircrew along with his mum Joanna, dad James and his older brother Ted.

Joanna said: “We’re very proud of Maxi for coming to his grandfather’s rescue and we will be forever grateful to Wiltshire Air Ambulance and its Emergency Awareness Training programme.

“We’re based near Malmesbury and we often see the helicopter flying overhead. We always look to support the charity and we are part of the Somerford & District Show, held annually in August, which raises funds for Wiltshire Air Ambulance and other local charities.”

Maxi harbours hopes of becoming a doctor or becoming a sportsman, while his brother is an aspiring pilot, so took great pleasure in meeting Elvis Costello, who was flying the helicopter on the day of the family’s visit to Semington.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance emergency awareness training instructor Andrew Robinson said: “This is exactly why the charity began the programme four years ago and we have so far delivered the training to more than 20,000 children across Wiltshire, Bath and surrounding areas.

“It’s brilliant to hear that Maxi was able to take what he was taught by Wiltshire Air Ambulance in school and put it into practice when the need was there.”

Emergency Awareness Training bookings are full up until December 2023, but schools wishing to benefit from the programme in 2024 should call 01225 300536.

Emergency Awareness Training

Our programme is an interactive training session for children at primary and secondary schools and delivers a range of lifesaving skills including making a 999 call, performing CPR, how to use a defibrillator and much more.

Sessions can be tailored to engage all ages and meet the needs of community groups, in addition to our school’s programme.


Find out more

A man performing CPR on a manikin, with school children watching on