Quick thinking Tyrone farmer saved son’s life

A Co Tyrone farmer, who saved his then six-year-old son’s life after he was overcome by fumes from a slurry tank, is urging others to learn basic first aid skills.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 1:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th October 2021, 2:34 pm
Derek Robinson and his son Ben.
Derek Robinson and his son Ben.

Derek Robinson, a poultry farmer, said he would never have forgiven himself if he didn’t know what to do to save little Ben’s life on that day in May 2019.

The local farmer had just bought a batch of new chickens and Ben was excited to see them, so went along with his dad to have a look.

Derek recalled it was a nice calm day, with no breeze.

He stopped at the slurry tank to make arrangements to start mixing it while he and Ben went to see the poultry.

Ben had been left at a safe distance, outside on the yard, while his dad worked at the tank for just a few minutes.

But, when Derek went to check on his son, he found him walking towards him with a cut on his head.

Like any parent, Derek’s initial thought was that Ben had fallen over, however, after lifting the youngster to carry him back to the family home, it became clear that something serious had happened.

The six-year-old’s eyes started to roll in his head and, after placing him on the ground, Derek quickly realised his son wasn’t breathing.

The Co. Tyrone farmer instantly knew what had happened and, thanks to some first aid training, he knew exactly what to do in that moment.

He carried out CPR for around one and a half minutes before Ben started breathing again.

Now, Derek is urging everyone, particularly those in the farming community, to be aware of the everyday dangers that exist.

He is encouraging farmers to avail of the free first aid awareness training being offered by CAFRE, through the Farm Family Key Skills (FFKS) programme.

“Knowing what to do in those few minutes saved my son’s life,” Derek said.

“I would never have forgiven myself if I hadn’t been able to save him.”

FFKS first aid awareness training is free to farm families and farm workers and is delivered by Global Horizon Skills Ltd.

Training is currently available as an online evening session, easily accessible by all the family via Zoom, in the comfort of your own home.

Eligible participants completing the training will also be provided with a first aid kit.

Dates and times of the training sessions can be found on the CAFRE website at: https://www.cafre.ac.uk/business-courses/first-aid-awareness/

To find out more, please contact Colette on 028 822 50544 or email Colette or Catherine on: [email protected] or [email protected]

Farm Family Key Skills courses are an important element of the Rural Development Programme.

The FFKS programme is part-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).