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Evie could have died - so where were first aiders?

Byline: Dave Robson Senior Reporter

A LITTLE girl's terrifying choking ordeal has prompted her dad to seek safety reassurances from a holiday firm.

Three-year-old Evie Linnecor was in a restaurant at Butlin's Skegness when a piece of sausage lodged in her throat.

Calls for a first aider went unanswered, leaving Evie desperately struggling to breathe.

With Evie panicking and her lips turning blue, a paediatric nurse at an adjoining table leapt into action, eventually dislodging the food after performing the Heimlich Manouevre. But Evie's dad Steven says it was unacceptable that no first aider was on hand - and wants reassurance from Butlins it won't happen again at its resorts.

Butlin's stresses it always has more first aiders on its sites than required but, after what happened to Evie, will look again at how they are deployed.

Steven, 35, of Grangetown, said Evie was at Butlin's with her uncle and auntie when the drama occurred.

He said: "The Butlins trained first aider was not only not in the restaurant but was a full five minutes away. If the mystery nurse was not there at that time, my child would not be here now.

"When the trained first aider eventually turned up, she asked the security guard in the restaurant why there was not a first aider present and it was unacceptable for there not to be one.

"After taking my daughter to A&E for a check up, she was left with bruising around her rib cage, a sore throat and bruising on her eyelids caused by bursting of the capillaries due to lack of oxygen.

"We contacted Butlin's on Facebook informing them about the incident and telling them that we think there should be trained first aiders in the restaurant, especially during toddlers' week, but they wrote back a 'cut and paste' emotionless reply."

Steven, who works at Saltburn Cliff Lift, said he now worries when Evie eats - and can't get out of his mind the tragedy where Hartlepoool youngster Jacob Jenkins died after choking on a grape at Pizza Hut.

He said: "We want Butlin's to be more aware and put safety measures in place with more first aiders, especially in their restaurants.

"It should not take five minutes for a trained first aider to get to a child that is potentially choking to death.

| Steven choked on available to "I have heard from Butlin's, who investigated the case and have admitted there was no first aider in the restaurant at the time of her choking.

"They informed me there are 75 first aiders on site but when I questioned why it took five minutes for one to arrive, and why there was none in the restaurant on toddlers' week, they only apologised.

"They then reminded me legally they had enough trained first aiders and offered "goodwill gestures" of toys for my daughter and a discounted holiday.

"I told them I am not after gifts but reassurance."

A Butlin's spokesman said: "We were very sorry about what happened to Evie, and we did as much as we could to support her and her family while they were on resort and since they have returned home.

"On each of our resorts, we have a far greater number of fullytrained first aiders than we are required to.

"Nonetheless, as a direct result of what happened, we will look at how and where we deploy them so we can do even more to give our guests even greater reassurance when they stay with us."


060516MGAEVIE_001 IAN COOPER | Steven Linnecor says that when daughter Evie choked on her food at Butlins, no first aider was available to help
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:May 9, 2016
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