Young Wiltshire lifesavers will put their first-aid skills to the test and defend their titles in the regional heat of the national St John Ambulance schools' competition, on Wednesday. 

Last year’s regional winners, St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Malmesbury, and Sheldon School in Chippenham, are aiming to retain their trophies.

A team from Sheldon School also went on to clinch first place nationally, in the 2013 competition.

They face tough opponents from schools in the rest of the county, as well as Gloucestershire, Devon and Cornwall, as they compete in a series of lifesaving challenges.

And the winning junior and secondary school teams will take part in the competition’s finals at the popular theme park, Drayton Manor in Tamworth, Staffordshire, on Wednesday, June 25.

George Tarte, of St John Ambulance, who is organising of the regional heat, said: "The quality of first aid demonstrated by the students is always of a very high standard.

"Taking part in the schools' competition gives young people a chance to practise their skills in a realistic but fun environment and they are also learning skills for life.

"These pupils are equipped to be the difference between a life lost and a life saved."

The national winners will get £750 to spend on school equipment, with the runner up and third placed team getting £350 and £200, respectively.

St John Ambulance delivers first aid training in schools and through its youth schemes. In 2012, the charity taught lifesaving skills to more than 93,000 young people.

Its free online schools' resource, ‘Teach the difference’, gives teachers the ability to teach up to 28 first aid skills with complete lesson plans and videos, including how to treat choking and chest pains, as well as meeting a range of National Curriculum requirements.

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