A first aid trainer who helped a stranger suffering a heart attack has visited a secondary school in Sheffield to teach students life saving skills.
David Edmondson is part of a new team of trainers recruited by first aid charity St John Ambulance to teach life-saving skills in schools and communities across the region.
He visited King Ecgbert’s School, in Dore, to speak with students and teach them first aid as part of their health and social care qualification.
David, from Morley, Leeds, was recently reminded how important first aid knowledge is when he saw a man walk out of a restaurant and collapse.
Without hesitation he rushed to help the man, in his fifties. Recognising the symptoms of a heart attack, he helped him inside, put him in the ‘W’ position and called an ambulance.
As the man passed in and out of consciousness, his worried family looked on helpless, but David continued to keep his airway clear, check his pulse and be ready to start CPR if necessary.
The man did not suffer a cardiac arrest and when paramedics took over the patient’s treatment, David was praised for his actions.
David: “Each time he came round, the man tried to get up to go home but there is no way he could have done that.
“His granddaughter kept saying, ‘Why has Granddad gone to sleep?’.
His wife and daughter said they were so grateful I was there because they wouldn’t have had a clue what to do.
“All I would say is that I did everything possible to keep his condition stable until the ambulance arrived.
“I’d just visited a school to talk about first aid and this just highlights how you never know when it might be needed.”
The St John Ambulance team has already begun work in South Yorkshire schools, where teachers have devised their own course schedule using the charity’s flexible student first aid pack.
David Nicklen, regional manager, training and community projects, said: “Our charity aims to teach first aid to as many people as possible as early as possible. Every year, we hear stories of brave children saving others in medical emergencies, proving they make excellent first aiders.
“But our research also shows that seven out of 10 students wouldn’t know what to do if someone they knew was injured.
“That’s why we’ve taken on these experienced trainers and created a range of courses and materials to ensure pupils don’t miss out on this vital learning.”
Sara Ahmed, teacher at King Ecgbert’s, said: “In our sixth form we offer a level three qualification in health and social care where the students learn an array of topics. The topics range from anatomy and physiology to health and safety.
“We use St John to offer our students the opportunity of achieving a certificate in first aid. This helps them immensely as this life skill not only prepares them for life’s unexpected events, but also enables them to understand how the human body responds to simple methods which can be lifesaving.
“The students were excited about this course and were able to practice CPR on the dummies provided by St Johns. They were fascinated with Dave’s experiences which he shared.
“I feel a course like this can also help students consider their future careers within the healthcare sector.
“Equipping students with these skills is simply invaluable.”