• The Story behind the face of Resusci Anne

    September 2019

The Story behind the face of Resusci Anne

Frank Turner is our Operations Manager Rob’s favourite singer and he has just released a new album, “No Man’s Land”. On listening to the album Rob was drawn towards the song “Rescue Annie”. The song is about the story of the face of the Resusci Anne we all know.

Listen to the song here: https://youtu.be/sQFUy6xGUvg

L’Inconnue de la Seine

Legend had it that a body was pulled from the river Sein in Paris in the 1880s by a Doctor. The body showed no signs of violence, so suicide was suspected, and the myth grew that it was due to a broken heart after being spurned by a lover. The doctor was so taken by the girl’s beauty that he made a death mask of her face, partly for identification purposes. The mask became known as “L’Inconnue de la Seine”, or the unknown lady of the Seine. The mask was put on display, and it became extremely popular during as a piece of “Fin de Siècle” art.

The kiss of life

In 1956, Asmund S Laerdal saved his son from drowning by giving “the kiss of life”. He had had no training in doing this and was reported as saying “I just improvised”. He came up with the idea to design a manikin that people could practice on. His grandfather had the death mask on his wall, and came up with the idea of using that face on a rescue dummy. Laerdal’s dummies were such a success that he formed the company Laerdal, which went on to be one of the largest manufacturers of rescue manikins in the world, and it is romantically said L’Inconnue De La Seine went from being an unkissed virgin, to the most kissed person in history!

The Story behind the face of Resusci Anne

There is a final twist to the tale. Another story emerged that the girl fished from the river was an identical twin that had ran away from Liverpool to be with her rich French suiter, never to be seen again. Many years later, the surviving twin visited Paris on holiday. Walking down a street she was shocked to see the mask hanging outside an artist’s workshop. She instantly recognised the face as her long lost twin, condemned, or blessed, to remain forever young, while her sister grew old.

Vortex Training Solutions run a variety of first aid courses. Why not get in touch and join us in kissing L’Inconnue del la Seine!

Tel: 0191 4324401 or email: info@vortex.training

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