Commendation for first-aider

First aider John Ashall.
First aider John Ashall.

A FIRST-aider from St Helens who has helped save the lives of three people has been saluted with a special award.

John Ashall crawled into the wreckage of a four-car pile-up to free a man, gave first aid to an elderly man unconscious in the road and helped save the life of a woman with a serious head injury.

The 44-year-old former archaeologist has since been awarded a certificate of commendation by the British Red Cross.

He said: “I was very proud to be singled out for a national award. I’ve volunteered for the Red Cross and Isle of Wight Search and Rescue (WightSAR) for more than six years now and was just happy to be in the right place at the right time.”

In November 2009, the ex-Sutton High pupil came across an elderly man who had fallen into the road and was unconscious.

He noticed the casualty’s airway was compromised and looked after him until he regained consciousness and was breathing normally.

He then went on to treat a bloody head wound before passing on information to ambulance crews when they arrived some time later.

Then, in April 2011, Isle of Wight-based Mr Ashall, originally from Sutton, was the first to respond to a serious four-car crash in Basingstoke - racing to the aid of a trapped driver.

After turning off the ignition to stop petrol pumping from the vehicle, he crawled into the wreckage and cut away the seatbelt which was constricting the casualty’s chest. He then stemmed the loss of blood by dressing multiple wounds before assisting paramedics at the scene, clearing a path through the wreckage for emergency vehicles.

Then, last summer, he administered first aid to a woman who had fallen and suffered a serious head injury at Shanklin.

Ambulance control later thanked him for his quick-thinking actions, which were considered life-saving.