ON THURSDAY, June 1 – the first day of Volunteers’ Week 2023 – Detective Constable and St John Ambulance Cymru’s Chief Volunteer, Richard Paskell, saved the life of his colleague, DC Craig Jones.
Richard was working at a South Wales Police premises in Cardiff, when DC Jones collapsed after returning from a run. He was unconscious and was not breathing, so Richard was summoned to the scene immediately. He called for the nearest defibrillator to be brought along by a bystander and promptly attached the defibrillator, commencing CPR.
The defibrillator stated, ‘no shock advised’, so Richard continued with CPR whilst an ambulance was on its way.
It was then that James Jenkins arrived on the scene. James is also a St John Ambulance Cymru volunteer, but at the time was volunteering as a First Responder for the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust. After a couple of rounds of CPR, Craig began breathing again. Richard and James worked together to care for Craig until the ambulance arrived, regularly monitoring his oxygen levels.
Paramedics and an air ambulance arrived at the police station and Craig was conveyed under sedation to the University Hospital of Wales.
DC Paskell said: “As the Chief Volunteer for St John Ambulance Cymru, I feel so proud to have been in the right place at the right time and played a part in saving Craig’s life.”
“We were so lucky to have a fellow volunteer who was able to join us at the scene. James lives locally and he arrived very quickly, whilst CPR was still ongoing.
“CPR is amongst the simplest and most important of all first aid skills, but in a cardiac arrest the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) can boost the casualties’ chance of survival much more than CPR alone.
“I cannot underestimate the importance of learning how to do CPR and use a defibrillator.”
DC Jones is recovering in hospital and is so thankful to the volunteers who saved his life. He said: “As a serving Officer I have on a number of occasions in my career had to perform CPR on people before volunteers and the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust have arrived to take over.”
“Never did I think that I would have CPR performed on me.”
“I have known Richard all my policing career and I’ve worked with him at various times within various roles with the police service. To say I am thankful he was present is an understatement.”
“I cannot say how important it is to get trained in CPR and the use of a defibrillator. I would also urge any businesses to train their staff and get a defibrillator on site, as there is no question that they save lives.”
More information on volunteering with St John Ambulance.