Everyday Heroes Award

Meet our heroes: St John Ambulance Community Hero finalists

With our Everyday Heroes Awards fast approaching, we want to share the incredible stories of our finalists.

With nine categories in total, this week, we’re taking a closer look at our Community Hero Award finalists. The Community Hero Award is for an individual or organisation who has used first aid or has made an extraordinary first aid achievement in their community.

Rik Nicol

Off-duty policeman turns carpark hero

Rik didn’t hesitate to race to the rescue when he heard a woman shouting from her car at a local shopping centre. The off-duty policeman was with his own small children when he heard distressed screaming outside the shops. He ran out to find a mother shouting that her 11-week old baby was struggling to breathe. As the infant started to turn blue, Rik knew just what to do and gave rescue breaths to get the baby breathing again.

Cody HartleyCody Hartley

Teenage fundraiser with a heart of gold

Since learning about the tragic death of a 12- year-old boy three years ago (when she herself was only 11), Cody Hartley has worked tirelessly to supply her local schools and community with defibrillators. Through fundraising activities ranging from sponsored walks to supermarket bag packs and selling homemade campaign badges, the dedicated youngster has raised more than £6,000 to supply lifesaving equipment to three primary schools, a secondary school and a karate club in her local area.

Paul Gittins, MBE

Local legend gets royal seal of approval

Paul Gittins has been a volunteer Community First Responder for more than 14 years, attending over 4,000 incidents in his local area. He is on-call almost every day as he is so passionate about the safety of residents in his home town and is dedicated to helping others in need. For years, Paul has been called to emergencies and can often be the first person to arrive on the scene. Treating everything from cuts and falls to breathing difficulties and chest pains. In an average year he receives around 500 calls, many in the middle of the night.

Helen Turner

Heroine Helen in mid-Air drama

Helen Turner proved to be a quick-thinking heroine when confronted by a mid-air emergency on a flight back from a family holiday. The crew had got the defibrillator out, thinking a passenger was having a heart attack, but he was showing signs of a stroke. Helen kept assessing him and her decision forced the diversion of the plane after she had to personally go into the cockpit and speak to the captain.

Tracey Garde

Football fan dedicated to defibrillators

In 2012 following the public cardiac arrest of footballer Fabrice Muamba, Tracey, as chair of the Bolton ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) Support Group, along with the committee, decided to fundraise to provide the local community with AEDs. Initially targeting local schools and sports clubs, their first defibrillator was presented to Bolton Rugby Club in December 2012. Since then, the group has donated 120 AEDs and regularly visits schools and sports clubs to offer resuscitation and AED training free of charge.

Show your support for St John Ambulance and our amazing finalists by joining us at the Everyday Heroes Awards on 7 September 2016, hosted by TV presenter Myleene Klass.