accessibility & help

Martin and David's story: First aiders help train casualty

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Two first aiders had to put their training to good use in a hurry following an emergency call after a man became unwell on a speeding train heading up the east coast of England.

Martin Huitson and David Ellis, two Red Cross managers based in Newcastle, caught an early evening train home from Kings Cross on 13 October after a busy working day in London.

However, they didn’t have much time to relax. Just 45 minutes into the journey, the train supervisor made an emergency call asking for anyone with first aid training to go along to coach D. Making their way quickly along the train, they soon found a man drifting in and out of consciousness.

Recovery position

Martin recalled: “It was a very crowded, rush-hour train and the man had apparently keeled over and collapsed in the aisle. We found him stuck underneath two seats – it was definitely a challenge.

“We went straight into first aid mode, checking the casualty’s airway then moving him to the vestibule area so we could put him into the recovery position and do some basic health checks. He was very agitated, and didn’t know where he was or what he was doing.”

After the supervisor phoned ahead for an ambulance, the train made an unscheduled emergency stop in Peterborough – and Martin and David found themselves ending their journey sooner than they had planned.

Valuable skills

Martin said: “We offered to get off the train and stay with the man on the platform until an ambulance arrived because we wanted to make sure he was okay and do a proper handover to the paramedics once they arrived.”

As a reward for their help, the two Red Cross staffers – who have both completed the organisation’s enhanced skills training – were later treated to a first class upgrade on the next train back to Newcastle.

Martin said: “We were both really happy to help. I’d really encourage anyone to get some first aid training. It’s such a valuable skill – and it’s such a good feeling when you’re able to put what you have learned to good use, as we did on the train.”

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