Portsmouth man’s first aid skills saved the life of young boy

LIFESAVER St John Ambulance first aid trainer John Dean, 62. Picture: Malcolm Wells (123053-9516)
LIFESAVER St John Ambulance first aid trainer John Dean, 62. Picture: Malcolm Wells (123053-9516)

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JOHN Dean knows the importance of basic first aid – it helped him save the life of a three-year-old boy who almost drowned.

The 62-year-old has been working as a first aid trainer for St John Ambulance for the past 16 years.

He is backing a campaign from the charity, which is encouraging more people to learn first aid.

Two years ago, he and his wife Natechanok had gone to Thailand to visit her family.

John, who has previously been a first aider for the Ministry of Defence and at Kingston Prison, said: ‘A three-year-old boy somehow got into the deep end of the pool in the hotel we were staying at.

‘His father managed to get him out of the water, but then didn’t know what to do.

‘The owner of the hotel was attempting to help by holding the boy upside down and shaking him – this is not the right thing to do.’

John, of Old Commercial Road, Buckland, took over by checking to see if the boy’s airways were clear.

Using chest compressions and breathing air into the boy’s mouth, he was able to revive him.

‘No-one had a clue what to do and there was a strong chance the

boy could’ve died if I didn’t help,’ added John.

‘The first aid knowledge wasn’t good there, and things need improving here too.’

John gives first aid training to businesses at the St John Ambulance centre, in Fraser Road, Havant.

As previously reported in The

News, a survey by One Poll found only 17 per cent of people in Portsmouth know basic first aid.

To watch a short film about first aid and get tips visit sja.org.uk/helpless.

Or text ‘help’ to 80039 and get a free guide giving five first-aid tips to help with things like choking and heavy bleeding.