St John Ambulance volunteers test out their emergency skills

Adrian Turner, assisted by Tracey Bassett, checks Anjali Shah, acting as a patient who has been pushed down the stairs

Esther Gordon-Smith prepares to give first aid to Martha Osman

Esther Gordon-Smith gets Martha Osman onto a stretcher with Maddie Colin as other St John volunteers tend to more injured people

Madie Colin, above left, and Esther Gordon-Smith move Martha Osman to a waiting ambulance

Tracey Bassett, right, bandages Steve Surman, who was playing a suspect arrested by police in connection with the incident

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Health reporter, also covering Kidlington. Call me on 01865 425271

A SIMULATED explosion at a concert provided vital training for members of St John Ambulance.

The charity held a training event at its Hill End base in Eynsham Road, Farmoor, to assess skills in dealing with a serious emergency.

About 40 fake gig goers took part in the event with a story about their injuries to test the charity’s volunteers.

Its 30 adult and 15 junior volunteers were tested over everything from serious burns to a spinal injury and a wasp sting.

Oxford City unit manager Christopher Tancock – who shouted “bang” to start the exercise – said of the findings: “The main thing is we need to be a little bit sharper on communication.

“We wanted to test process and communication on the radio. The triaging of patients was good but it needs to be better in terms of the initial assessment.”

Among the ‘casualties’ during the simulation was nanny and St John Ambulance volunteer Martha Osman, 18, from Stonesfield.

She said: “I was the asthma patient with smoke inhalation, I was having real issues breathing and I was gasping for air. I had a lot of grey make-up on.

“They did absolutely the right thing by supplying me with oxygen and getting me sat up so my lungs could be free to move properly.

“They categorised me as very ill compared to someone with cuts and bruises which isn’t going to kill someone in five minutes, whereas anemia would.”

She said: “It was amazing – a fantastic experience to learn a little more about it from a first-aiding point of view.”

To find out more about volunteering with St John, call 08700 104950 or email volunteer@sja.org.uk

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