Injured ‘patients’ needing treatment and a ticking clock was the scenario young St John Ambulance cadets faced during the National First Aid Championships over the weekend.
But the young volunteers from Maitland’s Cadet Unit barely broke a sweat, and their skills saw them secure second place in the competition.
The local division, consisting of a junior team and cadet team, qualified for the national championships after winning the top spot in the state titles in September 2018.
The junior team consisted of Phoenix Walton, 10, and William Morgan-Farnant, 11 with Grace Ahrens, 17, Ashley Williams, 16, and Cooper Field, 15, rounding out the cadet team.
Held on Saturday in Melbourne, the National First Aid Championships tasked the young ambos with responding to mock emergency scenarios with multiple patients and injuries.
Officer in charge Katherine Mead said she was incredibly proud of the hard work of her two teams.
“I was over the moon,” she said. “Some of these kids had never competed before ... there are no words for how I felt when I heard those results on Saturday.
“I am so proud of their efforts. They are exceptional first aiders and leaders. They had difficult scenarios but managed to stay calm and provide the best possible care to their patients.
“I can confidently rely on them. In the field, I know they can start treatment while I tend to other patients.”
For cadet Cooper Field, joining the program has been a challenging but rewarding experience – especially representing the state in the competition.
“It’s pretty good. I’ve learned a lot about communication, leadership and first aid skills," he said.
“My brother is special needs, and I’ve always wanted to be a paramedic.”
Established more than 130 years ago, St John NSW provides first aid training, products and services for the community of NSW.
For more information about first aid courses, products or becoming a volunteer or cadet, visit stjohnnsw.com.au or call 1300 ST JOHN.