Bravery awards for two Scouts

Lachlan Wallace and Ceri Coates display their Chief Scout's commendation for Meritorious Conduct awards. (Picture by
Lachlan Wallace and Ceri Coates display their Chief Scout's commendation for Meritorious Conduct awards. (Picture by

THE life-saving actions of two members of the 3rd Forfar St Margaret’s Scout Group have resulted in the presentation of bravery awards.

The first-aid skills of Lachlan Wallace (13), a second-year pupil at Forfar Academy, and Assistant Beaver Leader Ceri Coates were put to good use when Lachlan’s father Iain, a Group Scout Leader, was rendered unconscious after touching an electric fence.

As a result they received The Chief Scout’s Commendation for Meritorious Conduct for their heroism at the Scottish Awards Day of the Scout Association in St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh.

Lachlan, Ceri and Iain were taking part in a hike as part of a Scout camp last October during which a group of Scouts were seeking to gain experience of map reading and hill-walking as part of their Hill-walker Activity Badge.

They were part of a party of about 10 who were two thirds of the way home from Tannadice to Forfar, when Iain touched the fence and was mildly electrocuted.

Lachlan stayed calm as he assisted Ceri, who is studying anatomy at Dundee University, administer first aid on his father.

The pair moved Iain into the recovery position and monitored his condition. The ‘Home Contact’ procedure to contact Iain’s wife Leilah, the Group Scout Leader, and evacuation from the hill was initiated.

Lachlan had recently completed his St Andrews Ambulance First Aid Certificate as part of his Emergency Aid Stage 5 Badge for the Scouts. He has also received the highest badge in Scouting, the Chief Scout’s Gold Award.

The remainder of the Group completed their hike and subsequently their Hillwalker Activity Badges.

The fence was unmarked as electrified and is being dealt with on a local level.

Commenting on Lachlan and Ceri’s action, Iain said: “We were two thirds of the way through the hike when I touched the fence with my hand.

“The last thing I remember is that I managed to make it 30 yards with my daughter Mirren, who was 11 at the time, to get her to the rest of group before I fell unconscious.

“Lachlan had done his first aid course with the St Andrew’s Ambulance the year before, so they put me in the recovery position until I regained consciousness.

“I think I gave them all a wee bit of a fright but Lachlan remained calm. He switched off from it being his father and did what he was trained to do.

“I am really proud of the pair of them and very proud they have been awarded the medal.

“I would encourage anyone to learn first aid as you never know when something is going to happen.”

Scottish Chief Commissioner Eleanor Lyall, who presented the awards, said she was delighted Lachlan and Ceri had been recognised for their quick thinking.

She added: “It is also very satisfying to know that the knowledge and skills learnt as members of the Scout Movement have been used to help others. As a Movement we are very proud of the fact that we can pass on these skills and instil in our young people the need to use the knowledge gained to help other people.” The Scottish Awards Day is an annual event that recognises and rewards outstanding service and achievement by Scouts and Adult Volunteers to the Movement and their communities.