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A teenager used first aid skills she learnt while training to be a London Fire Cadet to help save her mother’s life.
Bethany Grech, from the Brigade’s Merton cadet unit, used her first aid training when she found her mother Eileen collapsed at home earlier this year.
The 16-year-old Mitcham resident said her training kicked in when she found her mother lying unconscious.
She said: “My heart dropped but then I started to remember what I had learned in a first aid session during LFB’s Fire Cadets a few weeks before and it reminded what I had to do.
“First, I checked that she was breathing then used two fingers to tilt her head back to make sure her airways were open to allow her to keep breathing before calling 999.
“At hospital, they told me that thanks to the first aid I gave my mum I saved her life as she could have stopped breathing.”
Bethany said her family later found out her mother had sepsis and she wants to encourage other young people to learn first aid.
London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton with Bethany
Fire cadets units meet on Wednesday evenings at a selection of fire station and learn hands-on skills such as running out hoses and climbing ladders.
The course also helps them develop skills in team work, leadership, problem solving, communication, and health and safety.
Learn life skills such as first aid
Bethany added: “I will never forget this day as it turned my stomach upside down as I thought I was going to lose my mum. I am thankful to LFB Fire Cadets and guides for teaching me First aid so thank you to these amazing organisations.
“I am also thankful to the London Ambulance Service, who helped saving my mum’s life, and to everyone for all their support.
“What I want people to take from this story is that you never know when you will need to perform first aid but you should always learn it.”
Sara Perez, London Fire Brigade’s Youth Engagement Manager, said: ”I am very proud of Bethany and how she applied the first aid she learnt at the fire cadets.
“Our aim with the cadets is to equip young people with life skills which includes first aid but also thinking on your feet and under pressure. Bethany certainly aced that part of our course.”
Eileen said she hadn’t realised how unwell she was until she woke up in the ambulance rushing to hospital.
She said: “I thought I was just getting a cold but if it hadn’t been for Bethany saving my life I wouldn’t be here today.
“I want to thank LFB Fire Cadets and the emergency services for coming to help me and reassuring Bethany that things will be okay.”
Eileen added she wanted to thank the fire cadets for helping to train her daughter in first aid and urged others to follow suit as basic first aid can help save a life.
You can visit our LFB Fire Cadets page to learn more about joining.