A St John Ambulance volunteer is urging people to learn first aid after she used her skills to help a woman who fell on a railway line.
Natalie Wood, 20, from Sellindge, had just finished her shift as a catering assistant for the Kent & East Sussex Railway at Tenterden Station when she heard a tannoy announcement calling for a first aider.
Natalie responded, and found that an elderly woman had fallen from the platform and was lying on the track in the gap between the platform edge and the stationary train carriage.
Natalie Wood, who helped a woman who fell onto the railway track at Tenterden
She immediately jumped down and established that the lady was in a lot of pain. She asked for someone to fetch a first aid kit so she could stem bleeding from a wound on the woman’s head, and reassured her until the ambulance arrived.
Natalie, who has been a St John Ambulance volunteer for seven years, said: “I was really glad to have been able to help, but it’s a pity that many people faced with the same situation wouldn’t know what to do.
“First aid skills are really important as you never know when someone could need your help. I’m sure that no one would want to feel helpless, particularly if the person [needing help] was a friend or loved one.”
The Kent & East Sussex Railway in Station Road, Tenterden
In a campaign last year, St John Ambulance revealed that each year up to 140,000 people die in situations in which first aid might have saved them.
Last month, the charity announced the results of a survey that showed that more than half of parents in the South East wouldn’t know enough first aid to help their children in a medical emergency.
“First aid skills are really important as you never know when someone could need your help" - Natalie Wood
St John Ambulance district manager Andrew McAllister said:“First aid skills can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved, so the more first aiders we have in our communities the better.”
St John Ambulance offers community first aid training courses for as little as £30. Advice is also available at www.sja.org.uk
The woman who fell, who was in her 80s, was visiting the KESR with a party from Gravesend Active Retired Association.
She suffered a minor heart attack in the ambulance and was taken to the William Harvey Hospital.
The KESR line is not electrified.