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Cycling Officer witnesses collision and offers first aid support

 Cycling officer who provides first aid support

A St John Ambulance first aider who used his first aid skills as a Good Samaritan passer by at a road traffic accident is backing the campaign for more people to learn life saving skills.

Peter Ralph, 34, from Derby, had been on his way home from a work meeting with a colleague in June when he witnessed the collision between a car and a lorry at Calver crossroads.

Three people in the car were injured and Peter immediately assessed each patient and started to attend to them. He was joined by other people with first aid knowledge including two off-duty patient transport service crew, two nurses and a community first responder.

One of the passengers was complaining of chest pains and had a history of angina and as such Peter was concerned that she may be suffering a heart attack so she was the initial priority until the emergency services arrived.

we will continue to respond to further calls for support from the ambulance service until the adverse conditions subside

John Newman
Head of Emergency Operations, St John Ambulance

Peter climbed into the rear passenger seat and worked together with another passer by to hold the car driver’s neck and head still until emergency services arrived. They also checked and looked after the lorry driver who was shaken but unhurt.

The passenger suffering chest pains was taken by air ambulance to hospital and the other passengers were taken by road to hospital.

First aid knowledge ensures patients given best chance of survival

Peter Ralph, a Regional Operational Cycling Officer at St John Ambulance, said: ‘At the time of the accident we had been waiting at the cross roads behind another lorry and the next thing we knew the accident had happened. I stopped the car to make us safe then dashed out to help straight away, while my colleague made sure an ambulance had been called.

I assessed all three patients and continued to speak to them and reassure them until the emergency services arrived. The patient transport service crew, off-duty nurses and first responder all worked together and it was a real team effort.

Having first aid knowledge meant that we could assess and handover details to the paramedic crews as soon as they were on scene – saving vital minutes in ensuring the patients were given the very best chance of survival. First aid is a vital skill for anyone to have and I would recommend everyone to learn – you really do never know when you might need it.’