First responder

I updated my first aid certificate last year and downloaded the St John ambulance First Responder app to my phone. Fortunately, I hadn’t needed to make use of it until the weekend whereby I faced a situation that made me relieved I’d updated my skills recently.

I was on a date on Sunday afternoon (second date, new guy – from my dance class 🙂 ) We went to a concert to listen to a Rachmaninoff Choral (the All-Night Vigil – an a capella composition). It was beautiful and uplifting. My date suggested we go for a walk afterwards. We did, it was a lovely sunny day and we walked and talked. On our way back to the car we saw a man writhing on the pavement with two young women standing nearby. As we approached I asked what had happened. They did not know the man, but had stopped and they’d called an ambulance.

My date and I stopped to help and we put him into the recovery position (part of the DR ABC first aid). It was a difficult situation. The man was quite a big and strong fellow and he was drifting in and out of consciousness and at times flailing about and other times panicking that he could not breathe. My date was brilliant and managed to keep hold of him, so that he didn’t further injure himself. I had to let go a couple of times as I couldn’t hang on. He was frothing at the mouth at times and I was worried he’d aspirate, but we managed to keep his head tilted downwards most of the time.

We also spoke soothingly with him, reassuring him that he would be fine and that the ambulance was on the way and that we would be with him the whole time and keep him safe.

It felt like forever for the ambulance to arrive. I asked one of the girls to call again and heard her explaining our location. The app I mention above actually uses the GPS coordinates of your phone so the ambulance knows exactly where to go. I hadn’t used it initially as they’d already called emergency services. However, when I heard her repeating our location several times, I realized it would have been better to activate the app.

The ambulance arrived some long minutes later and the awesome paramedics took over. We left and continued to the car.

I am grateful I had the skills to assist a person in need. I am also grateful I was with someone who immediately rendered assistance alongside me and worked perfectly together as a team.

If you can, please do a first-aid course or update your skills. Download a First Responder app if your city or town has one. You never know when you may need it for a stranger, friend or family member 💖