ST JOHN Ambulance cadets kept a royal date when they were invited to a Buckingham Palace reception by Princess Anne the Princess Royal.
Keelan Rushby, 17, of Hady, Chesterfield, and Joshua Quinn, 15, of North Wingfield, were selected to attend the prestigious event having completed their Grand Prior Award - the highest a St John Ambulance cadet can achieve, marking at least three years of study.
Keelan, who recently led his team to victory in the organisation’s county competitions, said: “It was a really good day and a privilege to be invited.
“The Princess asked what I wanted to do with the skills I’ve learned and I told her I want to become a professional paramedic.”
He and older brother Liam, who is already a paramedic, are the fifth generation of their family to be St John Ambulance volunteers.
“Being part of St John Ambulance has given me confidence as well as friendship and it’s taught me how to save a life,” said Keelan.
He has dealt with a number of accidents thanks to his skills, the scariest being when a friend collapsed during a football game. “I put him in the recovery position, called an ambulance and made sure he was okay. I was glad I knew what to do,” Keelan said.
Joshua said: “Being a cadet has given me first aid knowledge that allows me to be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. Visiting Palace and meeting the Princess Royal was an experience I will never forget.”