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British Gypsum first aiders win top first aid trophy

Grand Prior Trophy winners 2010

British Gypsum work mates, John Wilebur and Phil Johnson, have reached the pinnacle of their first aid careers by becoming the UK Champions for the St John Ambulance Grand Prior Trophy.

The duo, who work in the Barrow-upon-Soar plant in Leicestershire, beat off stiff competition from more than 20 teams in Rugby, Warwickshire, on 17 November. Runners up were St John Ambulance Brislington and St Andrew’s Ambulance Bilston Glen (team B).

First aid knowledge in action

The UK Championship for the Grand Prior Trophy challenges first aid teams from industry and voluntary organisations across the country to demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of realistic first aid scenarios.

first aid in the workplace was often only seen as something that fulfilled legislative requirement rather a necessary life skill that saves lives

Lynda Coude
Event Manager, St John Ambulance
Run annually by St John Ambulance, the competitions have been held for more than 60 years. Participants were selected from the top first aid and health and safety personnel in their respective industries and had won elimination events to qualify for entry to the championship.

Twelve years of trying finally pays off

Fifty-six-year-old Wilebur and 46-year-old Johnson have been competing in the Grand Prior Competitions for over 12 years and, up till now, had won every other trophy, except for the Grand Prior Trophy.

'Winning the Grand Prior Trophy is the ultimate achievement and the pinnacle of our career. We take our first aid training seriously, and treat the annual competition as if the scenarios are for real,' said John Wilebur.  

Plant Manager, Daniel Easter, said the pair continually train to high standards in first aid.

'They are trained by St John Ambulance and deliver training internally across the British Gypsum workforce too. They also run scenarios and competitions, in a similar vein to the Grand Prior Competitions, to ensure that other workers understand the importance of first aid. At British Gypsum the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees is of paramount importance.'

First aid saves lives
Event Manager Lynda Coude said first aid in the workplace was often only seen as something that fulfilled legislative requirement rather a necessary life skill that saves lives.

'The UK championships highlight the commitment and dedication within business and industry to health and safety issues. The aim each year is to encourage first aid in the workplace and to help first aiders train for any eventuality, so that they can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.'

This year's entrants represented the fire services, police forces, royal mail, electricity associations, port safety and companies including Hayley Bearings and British Gypsum. Teams from St John Ambulance and St Andrews Ambulance also took part.