Young first aider honoured

NINE-YEAR-old Emily Salmon didn’t panic when her mum fainted in the bathroom, she put her in the recovery position and raised the alarm.

And just weeks later – during a trip to Toys’R’Us as a reward for her quick actions – Emily used her first aid skills again when a young boy collapsed with hypoglycemia.

This week Emily, of Walton, won official recognition for her actions when she was presented with the Badger First Aid prize at Derbyshire’s first ever St John Ambulance Youth Awards.

The evening, at county headquarters in Derby Road, Chesterfield, recognised outstanding members of St John Ambulance’s youth organisations: Badgers (age 5-10) and Cadets (age 10-17).

County Cadet of the Year is Martin Crompton (15) of Loundsley Green, who won the honour during a day of activities in which contenders were put through their paces.

Martin joined St John Ambulance nine years ago and has already achieved his Grand Prior award. He was able to put his skills into practice when a friend suffered a serious knee injury during a football game.

The county accolade means a lot to Martin, who also takes part in first aid competitions with his team from Chesterfield Quad: “I like competing, but I come second every time – finally I’ve won something!” he said.

“I really enjoy being a Cadet, you’re always learning new things and it gives you skills that can actually save a life. I want to be a teacher eventually and I think this will give me an edge.”

Deputy County Cadet is Shannon Herberts (15) of Glapwell and Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet is Jayne Williams (17) of Pleasley. Badger of the Year is Lara Cocking (age10) of Pleasley.

Principal Youth Officer Carl Makins said picking the winners had been a tough job: “The entries were extremely strong, and it was heartwarming to read about people who give hours and hours of their time over the years.”

Chair of St John Ambulance Derbyshire, Dr Cheryle Berry, said: “I’m immensely proud to be here tonight. What we’ve seen is the family of St John in action and I pay huge tribute to you all. Without you all, the lives of people in Derbyshire would not be as good or as safe.

“It’s clear this evening that the future of youth in this county is in extremely good hands.”

Other youngsters singled out for honours included Luka Burrell (aged 9) of Parkhouse Division near Clay Cross, who was named Caring Badger of the Year; Ryan Smith of Staveley (aged 15) – Active Cadet; Huw Stacey (aged 13) of Bolsover – Cadets’ Cadet; and Lauren Smith (aged 16) of Glapwell – Community Cadet.

Badger Set of the Year went to Bolsover; Cadet Unit to Glapwell; Division of the Year to Pleasley; and the Youth Leader award to Bridget Mullarkey of Staveley.

The oldest winner was Ernie Maycock, aged 80, of West Park in Chesterfield, who was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his services to St John Ambulance youth.

To learn more about the youth awards or St John Ambulance youth groups in Derbyshire, contact Carl Makins on (01246) 200 272.