Lifesaver urges people of Leeds to learn first aid

St John Ambulance district manager Andrew Feely with fellow volunteers
St John Ambulance district manager Andrew Feely with fellow volunteers
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After saving his brother-in-law’s life, Andrew Feely understands more than most the value of having basic first aid skills.

The father-of-two was at a party last New Year’s Eve when Bill Wood suddenly lost consciousness and stopped breathing.

Mr Feely provided CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for TEN minutes – keeping him alive until he started to breath for himself again and paramedics arrived.

He said: “It happened that quickly I was on auto-pilot.

“I realised that he wasn’t breathing so I had to breathe for him.”

He added: “He had gone into respiratory arrest – where they stop breathing – and if nothing is done that becomes cardiac arrest.”

Mr Feely has been volunteering with the charity for a staggering 40 years – since he was just eight years old – and now he is urging people across the city to learn to become lifesavers too.

The 48-year-old ambulance operations manager for St John Ambulance, who covers most of the Yorkshire region in his full-time job plus voluntary role as district manager – west, said: “My motto is, something is better than nothing.

“That’s what I try to instil in people – that doing something rather than nothing can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.”

He added: “People are scared of not knowing what to do but having that bit of confidence goes a long way.

“I would encourage anybody to go on a first aid course no matter how young or old they are and I would encourage any parent to get first aid training.”

Mr Feely, who has overseen first aid and ambulance provision at major events in Leeds including this summer’s Tour de France and the 2006 Robbie Williams concert at Roundhay Park, was invested in the Order of St John, one of the world’s oldest charities, for his exceptional long service. It is a Royal Order of Chivalry and each recipient is approved by the Queen.

He is backing the Yorkshire Evening Post’s First Aid for All campaign. The YEP has teamed up with St John Ambulance to teach first aid skills to 500 people across the city.

Hundreds of readers have already taken part in one of our specially discounted first aid courses.

And now we are calling on even more readers to show their support for our First Aid For All campaign to help reach our next milestone target of 400 first aiders.

The YEP has teamed up with St John Ambulance to train an army of lifesavers in Leeds. We are offering a discounted £20 course for readers to learn basic first aid skills. To book ring 01924 262 726, choose option four and quote discount code 20EFAAA. Courses will be at the Shine Business Centre, Harehills Road, on October 10 and 29; November 10, 20 and 28. They will also be at St John Ambulance, Gay Lane, Otley, on October 25, November 19 and December 20.

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