Karratha emergency responders honoured with St John awards
The lifesaving skills and dedication of five Karratha police officers and a resident were commended with certificates of appreciation from St John Ambulance last week.
Martyn Stafford and officers Andrew Lassau, Caleb Yesberg, Damien Lalor, Toby Cotterell and David Steele received the awards for their efforts at two separate incidents late last year — helping resuscitate a man who went into cardiac arrest at a Karratha pub and attempting to revive another in a self-harm situation.
In the cardiac arrest incident, a complicating factor was the business’ on-site defibrillator failed to work, meaning Mr Stafford, police and bystanders had to perform CPR for almost 20 minutes before paramedics arrived.
SJA first responder manager Sally Simmonds said the incidents should remind community members of the value of having up-to-date first aid skills and medical equipment. “Simply put, the more people in the community who know CPR, coupled with the ability to quickly access a defibrillator, the more lives we can save,” she said.
Ms Simmonds said SJA especially encouraged people in regional areas to learn first aid and CPR because of the fewer res-ources and longer distances they faced.
Mr Stafford said his first aid training as an electrician had proven “invaluable” in helping save his friend from cardiac arrest but it was disappointing the business’ defibrillator had not worked.
“Awareness needs to be raised for local businesses and sport-ing clubs to check their equip-ment is operational — there is no point in having a defib if it doesn’t work when you need it,” he said.
Karratha police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Andy Stevens said he was proud of the dedication officers had shown in trying circumstances.
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