Leeds first aid hero’s top honour

Mark Coupland.
Mark Coupland.
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A dedicated ambulance volunteer who has given 1,500 hours in the past year to helping the injured has been honoured as the region’s finest.

Mark Coupland, 31, from Armley, spends his free time as second-in-charge of the Leeds Armley and Wortley St John Ambulance unit.

He joined the charity in 1996 after completing a first aid training course through his then employer.

In the last 12 months, Mark has provided 1,496 hours of voluntary service.

During that time he has manned St John Ambulance vehicles at various local and regional events and offered on-the-spot first aid.

Now, in recognition of his dedication, married dad-of-one Mark has been named the charity’s most prolific volunteer in the region.

“I was shocked when they said I had won the award.

“But I felt so proud on behalf of all the volunteers and the hours that they put in for such a worthy cause,” he said

“Everyone at St John Ambulance is like a big family and we help each other out.

“I believe more people should be taught first aid skills and need to start learning from as young an age as possible.”

Last year, Mark’s skills were put to the test when he came across a man who had been attacked by five people with golf clubs.

He realised the victim was badly injured and was bleeding from an abdominal wound so he called his wife Leanne, also a St John Ambulance patient transport volunteer, to bring his equipment immediately.

The pair put the injured man on oxygen, put pressure on the wound and stabilised his spine.

Their crucial intervention saved the man’s life, according to his doctors.

Philip Gee, executive director of St John Ambulance in South and West Yorkshire, said: “Our research shows two out of three people do not know what to do in an emergency situation, so the work of our volunteers is crucial.

“Mark and our other volunteers are proof that people really can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.”

* To become a St John Ambulance volunteer in South and West Yorkshire call 01924 262726 or visit: www.sja.org.uk/training

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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