John McKay from Merseyside

John McKay, 1990sNorth WestI joined West Derby Ambulance Cadet Division in May 1956. On Saturday afternoons we worked in the operating theatres at a local chest hospital. We cleaned equipment and prepared swabs which could be used during chest surgery.

First aid competitions were quite a big part of our lives with extra training at weekends. We got as far as coming second at regional level.

In 1997 while I was providing first aid cover, the Grand National had to be abandoned and the site evacuated as the day went on. We were kept at the rendezvous points and there were dozens of people in our care who were unable to make their way home.

‘Coaches took people to the many dispersal sites round the county. We eventually went to the reception centre and in the early hours of the morning we got home. Ever since then the security for the meeting has changed beyond belief.’

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