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'Please learn life-saving skills' says first aider after Weymouth football injury drama
A TRAINEE first aider has appealed for more people to learn lifesaving skills after he helped a footballer with potentially serious injuries at a Weymouth match.
Jake Brewer, 24, a first aider with St John Ambulance in Weymouth, was among those who came to the rescue on his first public duty.
His skills came into play when Frome midfielder Matt Smith was injured 35 seconds into Weymouth FC’s first match of the season.
The player had collided with the wall and metal post that surround the pitch at Weymouth FC’s Bob Lucas Stadium.
He was unconscious and Jake was among the St John Ambulance volunteers called to help.
Together with club physiotherapists and a local doctor, the volunteers looked after the patient until an ambulance arrived, then helped paramedics move him onto a spinal board and transport him to Dorchester Hospital.
It was Jake’s first public duty with St John Ambulance – exactly one month after he successfully completed his trainee first aider course.
Jake, who moved to Weymouth from Bristol, with his partner and daughter, three-and-a-half years ago said: “It was the first time I had dealt with a patient who had a possible serious spinal injury, so it was pretty daunting.
“I was worried I would freeze but I just got on with it. Potentially, you are playing with someone’s life, so you have to help.
“This type of injury is one of the worst types you can be faced with, because the patient could be paralysed but I’m glad I was able to do my bit and I feel a lot more confident in my skills now.”
Jake, a full time carer, said: “Some people are just ‘take take take’ but I like to give something back, so I joined St John Ambulance.
“I hope my experience encourages more people to learn first aid, or join our unit in Wey-mouth, because the more people who can be the difference bet-ween a life lost and life saved, the better.”
Weymouth unit manager Julie Dean added: ‘Jake was dealing with a patient who had been seriously injured, so his training in the classroom situation paid off.
“Working with me and fellow volunteer Laura Hamilton, Jake stayed calm and did incredibly well. I’m very proud of him.”
Courses on offer
ST JOHN Ambulance is running a first aid course at its Weymouth headquarters, in Westwey Road, on Wednesday October 9 and 16, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. The cost is £25, plus VAT, per person.
To book a place, call Grant Wilson on 01305 751157, or visit sja.org.uk where you can also find out more about volunteering vacancies and details of how to join the charity.
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