Lunch hour lifesaver
Lunch time took an unexpected turn for an off duty first aid
trainer who found herself calling on her own skills to save
a life outside a packed London tube station.
Tracy Cutting, 37 and from Westcliff, had only recently started
her new role for St John Ambulance in London in York
Street, when she found herself needing to show her abilities for
Running an errand in her lunch break, Tracy came across an
elderly gentleman, slumped over a bollard, close
to the tube entrance in the pouring rain, unable to open his eyes
and repeatedly vomiting.
While many passed by without a second look, Tracy knew something
was seriously wrong. Taking control of the situation, she
introduced herself as a trained first aider and was able to
ascertain that the casualty had acute Ménière's disease, which can
affect hearing and balance and cause extreme dizziness and
While the elderly man had taken medication, this was having
little effect and his responses were slowing down.
With the help of his friend, who arrived on the scene,
Tracy supported him to a nearby office block to shelter him
from the rain and called an ambulance.
When the paramedics arrived Tracey was able to provide them with
a full brief of the gentleman’s condition, aiding them with their
Recounting her experience, Tracy said: 'I was shocked to see so
many people pass by when someone was clearly very ill. To me it is
second nature; it is what I know best.
'Interestingly it really put elements of the courses that we
teach into perspective. The delegates have been interested in
hearing about my real life experiences having integrated this into
modules such as the handover of a casualty to the paramedics.'
Soon after the incident, Tracy was honoured to receive a
personal thank you from the gentleman – an excellent start to a new
era for the recently modernised St John Ambulance Training
organisation in London.
Tracy's quick thinking and willingness to help others
exemplifies the strengths of being a trained first aider and just
goes to show the dedication and expertise of the trainers at St