Daniel Mason, a Macquarie Clinical Science undergrad, has won a St John Ambulance Save a Life Award, which will be presented to him and his St John team-mates at a gala awards ceremony on Saturday (27 October).
Daniel was working as part of a St John Ambulance team at the Cat Stevens concert at the International Convention Centre in Sydney last December.
Volunteers usually work in pairs at events but that night there were three in Daniel’s team, which turned out to be key to the survival of the person they saved. Daniel was buddied up with a Macquarie Uni friend (who has since transferred to do Medicine at University of Newcastle) and another St John friend, who happens to be a paramedic (emergency medical technician).
During the concert, a member of the public found an unconscious person in an out-of-the-way foyer who needed urgent assistance.
“They were in a pretty bad way. We thought it was a possible stroke or seizure. It was really helpful having a trained paramedic in the team. It was quite scary and yet a good learning experience. The buddy system is really great,” Daniel explains.
Daniel is doing the Bachelor of Clinical Science as a pathway to get into the Medicine postgraduate program at Macquarie. Volunteering is a fairly common tactic when wanting to get into Medicine, however Daniel has ended up getting far more out of it than he thought. He’s been volunteering since February 2017 and chose St John as it’s a very health-related charity that gives the right experience for what he’s interested in.
Volunteers start at St John as a First Aider, then progress to First Responder once a qualifying course has been completed. Quite a few students from the Macquarie Clin Sci course volunteer with St John.
“I’ve met heaps of people and made some good friends, as St John runs social nights (as well as training nights) to assist bonding so that teams are more cohesive in the field,” Daniel explains.
“It’s great to be able to apply some of the learning from the Clin Sci course, while St John provides the practical application and experience that you don’t get in the undergraduate course.”