Yorkshire Evening Post readers are being urged to “have a heart” and join our lifesaving army.
The YEP has teamed up with St John Ambulance to teach basic first aid skills to 500 readers in Leeds.
As part of the campaign, we went behind the scenes with the first aid charity’s dedicated team of volunteers at the city’s annual Valentine’s Fair.
The team are on call to help members of the public in emergencies.
Heading up the team is unit leader Mark Coupland, who has dedicated hundreds of hours to help care for others with the charity. Mark, who leads the Armley and Wortley St John Ambulance unit, has helped at the fair at Elland Road for the last ten years.
He said: “We have six members here every night and we could deal with injuries like sprains or illnesses, especially in children.”
Mark, who joined the charity in 1991, knows only too well the importance of first aid.
His skills were put to the test in 2010 when he came across a man who had been attacked by five people with golf clubs in Armley, in Leeds. His crucial intervention saved the man’s life, according to his doctor.
“It is very important to learn first aid and it should be taught from nursery. Children are never too young to learn,” Mark said.
“We are the difference, and that is just brilliant.”
Jack Elsworth, 17, joined the St John Ambulance team nearly two years ago.
He dreams of becoming a paramedic and hopes the first aid charity will help him to learn lifesaving skills.
He said: “It has been fantastic and it is a really good experience.
“You get a sense of accomplishment.”
Jack is also backing our drive to recruit an army of lifesavers in Leeds.
“It is very important to learn first aid because you never know when you are going to use it,” he said.
“Knowing what to do could help to save someone’s life.”
The YEP reported recently that more than half of parents in Leeds would not know what to do if their child’s life was in danger.
And nearly one-fifth of Leeds parents do not view learning first aid as important.
As part of the First Aid For All campaign, readers can attend one of our special three-hour courses to teach basic first aid skills which can be the difference between life and death.
* St John Ambulance are offering a three-hour course at a discounted rate of just £20.
To book your place, telephone 01924 262 726 and press option four and quote discount code 20EFAAA.
First Aid courses will be held at Shine Business Centre, Harehills Road, on: February 24, 1pm-4pm and March 25, 9.30am-12.30pm
First Aid courses will also be held at Leeds Church Inst, New Market Street, on: February 18, 9.30am-12.30pm, March 18, 9.30am to 12.30pm and 1pm until 4pm.