Things happen, and it helps to be prepared. That?s the gist of Jon Matthews? philosophy when it comes to learning some life saving skills. He?s been helping Antiguans to that state of readiness with a series of Basic Life Support and First Aid courses as a St John Association volunteer. The non-profit organisation is part of a worldwide body headquartered in England.
Having relocated with his family to Antigua earlier this year, Matthews promptly took up the challenge and has been enjoying every minute of it.
?I love teaching in my spare time,? Matthews said, ?I get a real buzz out of helping other people.?
The classes run twice a week ? not counting the midweek socials ? for about an hour and a half in four-week intervals; and run participants about $100. The association enrolls maximum 15 students at a time, and some 36 have graduated so far. The latest course began last Tuesday. ?This is the fifth course,? Matthews said.
It?s a pretty comprehensive course, schooling participants in how to respond to choking incidents, wounds and bleeding, fractures, burns, scalds, asthmatic attacks, anaphylactic shock, angina, heart attack, unconsciousness, and the like. ?What I concentrate on,? the Brit explained, ?is the immediate life threatening situations people will come across in their daily lives.?
He certainly has the know-how, with both considerable teaching and frontline experience. Matthews was a first responder with the ambulance service in the UK, and has training as a heart start instructor and an immediate life support instructor ? to give just a hint of his certification.
His course allows people to achieve certification from St John ambulance ? with an invitation to volunteer with the association on completion of the course. Twenty of the 36 graduates have so far accepted this invitation. But, of course, even if they?re never part of the team at any of the events covered by the St John Association, the skills they learned from Matthews will come back to them as needed in other areas of life. In fact, he feels business places may want to consider this training for staff ? from school teachers, to fast food workers, to people who work with the elderly, to just about anyone. As he said, ?accidents happen at home, at work, on the street.?
Those interested in learning how to save a life can sign up for the next course. Contact Matthews to find out how at 720-4956.