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Volunteer life savers needed in Otley and Harrogate district

Volunteer life savers needed in Otley and Harrogate district

Published by Lizzy McEllan at 2:02pm 17th April 2019. (Updated at 2:18pm 17th April 2019)

St John Ambulance volunteers from Otley, Harrogate and the surrounding areas are urging people to join their units to learn, practise and give life saving first aid.

  • St John Ambulance is appealing for more volunteers ahead of summer events across Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale
  • You'll be trained to help with anything from a cut finger to a cardiac arrest
  • Volunteer units are based in Otley, Harrogate, and Starbeck - find out more here

The volunteers provide vital first aid cover at local community events and sporting venues including the Otley Carnival, Ripon Races and Harrogate Flower Show.

They help members of the public suffering from anything from a cut finger to a cardiac arrest.

St John Ambulance demo CPR Otley
Evie Swanston, left, and Rose Cameron shown CPR techniques by volunteers, left to right, Glyn Jones, Sam Austin, Ian Ward, Jacqueline Gowing, Rachel ward, Linda Mahoney and William Halligan

The deadline for the units’ latest round of applications is Friday 19 April, with training starting in June.

Glyn Jones, from Bramhope, was called to give first aid to a man suffering a stroke at a Rotherham United football match only six weeks after finishing his training with St John Ambulance.

A member of the charity’s Harrogate unit, Glyn, 62, was first on scene to tend the elderly patient, along with an experienced first aider he had been partnered with.

glyn jones st john ambulance volunteer
Glyn Jones assisted a man suffering from a stroke, after being a volunteer for less than six weeks

Glyn said:

“The man was not able to speak coherently and he had drooped on one side, a symptom of stroke.

"He was also very distressed so, while we waited for the paramedics to arrive, I calmed him by making eye contact, talking to him using his name and encouraging him to breathe slowly with me.

“It was quite a shock when we got the call through on the radio and I thought ‘that’s me’, but I went straight there and did what I have been shown, without panic.

"It was a really good experience and I actually felt quite emotional later about being part of the team that helped him and his son.”

St John Ambulance volunteer area manager, also a paramedic with Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Sam Austin said:

“We encourage anyone interested in giving some of their time to help others to join one of our friendly teams.

"We’re flexible about how much time they can give and no experience in first aid is necessary, we provide a high standard of training.

“I highly recommend volunteering with St John Ambulance – as well as making a real difference to people when they need it, we get a huge amount out of it too.”

The Otley unit meets on Gay Lane every Monday from 7.30pm to 9pm, Harrogate meets at the same time on Thursday on Hornbeam Avenue, and Starbeck and Knaresborough unit meeting is held at 8.30pm at St Andrews Church Hall, Starbeck.

To apply to join a unit, click on Volunteer at www.sja.org.uk, and search Event First Aid. Or email dalesareavolunteering@sja.org.uk

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