Whilst out on the streets of his Squadrons home town raising funds for the Royal Air Forces Association Wings Appeal, sixteen year old Air Cadet Cpl Robert Allan's First Aid training and quick thinking came in useful when he went to the assistance of a member of the public.
On Saturday 27th September Cpl Robert Allan was out collecting for the R.A.F.A Wings Appeal in the busy streets of Nuneaton with other members of 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron Air Training Corps.
Having already returned one collecting tin he decided to take a break and have some dinner. Unbeknown to Robert his lunch break was about to take an unexpected turn. No sooner had he settled himself down to tuck into his long awaited burger when he noticed an elderly woman in considerable distress. All thoughts of food left Robert's head as he went to assist the woman who was complaining of chest pains and experiencing difficulty in breathing.
Robert takes up the story, “ I was sitting on the wall outside the Iceland Foods in Queen's Road enjoying a McDonalds when I saw a little old lady who was slumped over a bench. I went over and asked her if she was OK although it was obvious that she was in need of help. I then sat her up and started to talk to her, she said she had tingling sensations in her left arm and chest pains, I could also see that at her skin looked clammy. I asked her if she was on medication and she told me she had just taken her spray but it wasn't working.”
“After having First Aid training at cadets it made me realise it could be something serious. I knew that I had to keep her sat upright and as calm as possible. I then got someone else to phone for an ambulance and kept talking to her whilst it was on its way, luckily it didn't take long at all, it must have been about two or three minutes max, which makes me realise how responsive the ambulance service is. Once they arrived the ambulance crew took over and took her to hospital for further treatment.”
“With my part in the drama over I returned to the wall to pick up the remains of my lovely burger but to my horror I was just in time to see a street warden cleaning it away. How fair is that, helped to save somebody's life and lost me burger. Never mind although I missed out on my food I had a great feeling of satisfaction knowing that I helped that lady and I didn't panic. When I did my First Aid training at the cadets I never thought I would ever have to use it in a real incident, I'm just glad I was able to remember what to do to help her.”
With the Incident over and no food to eat, Cpl Allan returned to the task of collecting for the Wings Appeal. Some time afterwards Robert was rewarded for his actions by the Squadron staff who went and fetched him another burger.
Flight Lieutenant Ian Crewe Officer Commanding 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron said, “Although we make light of this story now that it's over with all of the jokes about Robert and his burger, it was far from amusing for him at the time. Robert was on his own, some distance away from the Squadron adult staff when he found himself faced with this potentially serious incident. He should be commended for his quick thinking and the way he managed to put his First Aid training into practice. Robert's actions exemplify the type of good citizenship that we encourage amongst our young people within the Air Cadet movement.”
He added, “Unfortunately at this time we don't have the name of the lady that Cpl Allan helped during this incident. She would no doubt wish to remain anonymous however both Robert and the other members of the Squadron would like to know how she's getting on, so if anyone knows who she was we would love to hear from you.”
Squadron contact phone number 024 7638 1114 (Tuesday & Friday evenings only)