Training first aiders save collapsed woman in Stevenage while on their lunch break

Tom Cracknell used the skills he had been learning on a first aid course to help save the woman who

Tom Cracknell used the skills he had been learning on a first aid course to help save the woman who collapsed in Stevenage - Credit: Archant

The life-saving skills of two first aiders were put to the test when they found a woman unconscious during their lunch break.

Philip List, 37, and Tom Cracknell, 56, were on the last day of a St John Ambulance First Aid at Work course and were walking back to the training centre in Argyle Way, Stevenage, when they saw the woman slumped against a wall in an underpass.

Philip said: “I checked to make sure she was breathing. Her eye movements were rapid and she was foaming at the mouth so I assumed she was having a seizure. I put her in the recovery position and Tom helped support her head.”

Tom, from Aston End, stayed with the woman while Philip called an ambulance.

Paramedics arrived within minutes and took over the treatment of the young woman who regained consciousness and was talking before being taken to Lister Hospital in Stevenage.


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Tom, who took the course in order to be capable and confident in the face of an emergency, said: “Thank goodness we’d learned exactly what to do when dealing with an unconscious casualty. We’d practised the recovery position on the first day of our course which meant we could stay calm and confident in a situation which might otherwise have been pretty terrifying.”

St John Ambulance is the nation’s leading first aid provider, training more employees, school pupils and members of the public than any other organisation.

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Dave Snutch, regional director of St John Ambulance’s Commercial Training Division for the London and East regions, said: “Employers have a legal duty to ensure they have enough staff with first aid training in the workplace.

“But the experience of Philip and Tom just goes to show everyone should learn basic life saving skills because you just never know when you’re going to be faced with a life or death emergency – it could be at home, at school, when you’re out socialising or in the street.”

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