SEAFORD: Teenage first aiders play vital role at crash scene

Kayleigh Matthews and Matthew Templeman

Kayleigh Matthews and Matthew Templeman

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TWO teenagers from Seaford used their first aid skills to tend to a couple whose car skidded out of control.

Kayleigh Matthews and her boyfriend Matthew Templeman kept their cool when they came across the car which had crashed in treacherous road conditions.

The pair, both 17 and members of the Seahaven division of St John Ambulance, rushed to help after spotting the vehicle on its roof.

They helped the couple as they clambered out from their overturned car and escorted them to a nearby visitor centre where they treated them for shock and kept them comfortable until an ambulance arrived.

The couple were travelling in Kayleigh’s parents’ car to do some Christmas shopping when they came across the crash.

Matthew said, “Other people stopped but just stood around not knowing what to do.

“Someone in the visitor centre wanted to give them hot drinks but we knew that wasn’t a good idea for people in shock.

“We wrapped them in space blankets to keep them warm and kept them calm, assuring them they were in safe hands until the ambulance arrived.”

Both teenagers are members of the Seahaven division of St John Ambulance and are studying at Lewes College.

Kayleigh joined the nation’s leading first aid charity two years ago because she wanted to contribute to her local community.

Matthew became a member just six months ago, keen to learn first aid skills because his ambition is to pursue a career as a paramedic.

Paul Roots, Sussex St John Ambulance County Commissioner for Operations said, “I’m extremely proud of these young volunteers for putting their first aid training into practice and acting calmly, quickly and effectively in a difficult and stressful situation.

“We hear so many negative things about young people these days yet we have more than 700 young members in Sussex who give up their spare time to serve their local communities.

“We give them the skills and confidence needed to be the difference between a life lost and a life saved when confronted with a medical emergency.”

Kayleigh and Matthew are currently trying to raise £10,000 to fund a visit to Kenya in 2012. They plan to spend six months working in a hospital, orphanage and school.

They are both also keen to trace the couple in the crash to find out how they are and to wish them a Happy New Year.

They can be contacted via their local St John Ambulance unit, email: Cadets@seahaven.sja.org.uk or call 07858 101356.