Super first aider helps keep city on the move

St John Ambulance volunteer Gary Dunford
St John Ambulance volunteer Gary Dunford
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Super first aider Gary Dunford donates thousands of hours of his time to help keep medics on the move.

The 42-year-old can often be found ferrying patients around Leeds and when the snow strikes he makes it his mission to help nurses in Otley stay on the road to reach remote locations.

Gary, who has volunteered with St John Ambulance for nearly 30 years, has been nominated for a top volunteer award with the charity to recognise his efforts.

Gary, who has undergone a double kidney transplant, said: “I’m giving back.

“It is brilliant to volunteer and sometimes it is a challenge to try and get to places where others can’t.

“I can drive to Otley and pick up the district nurses so make sure that they can get out and see their patients.

“It is all about team work.

“I’ve been in situations where I have not been able to breathe and want to do as much as I can to make sure others don’t experience that.

“I wanted to give something back and the reward is knowing someone’s made it because of you.”

And he is supporting the YEP’s First Aid For All campaign.

We have teamed up with St John Ambulance to teach basic first aid skills to 500 people in Leeds.

Gary, who volunteers at Huddersfield Town matches, added: “A football fan in his thirties complained of chest pains.

“He was convinced it was his bronchitis but when I took him through the questions, as trained, he said his left wrist was aching too.

“I immediately put him a carrier chair, gave him oxygen and got him to the first aid post where he was given emergency treatment for a heart attack.

“He later made a full recovery but if I hadn’t recognised those symptoms, it could have been quite different.

“Most of the incidents I go to there are people who don’t know first aid. It’s not hard and it makes a difference.”

* 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.

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