Norwich girl’s lifesaving plea

A teenage St John Ambulance volunteer who put her first-aid skills into practice to help a woman who was seriously injured following a crash near her home today led calls for others to get trained up.

Jackie Heywood, a 15-year-old member of the Sprowston Cadet Unit of St John Ambulance, was about to leave her house in Woodcock Road, off Aylsham Road, Norwich, for her weekly first aid class when she heard a loud crash.

As revealed by the Evening News last week, the Thorpe St Andrew High School pupil ran outside, dressed in her uniform, to discover a woman, bloodied and injured, in the middle of the road after being hit by a car. She was then called upon to administer some of the skills she had learned as a volunteer.

The woman, who suffered a broken neck and brain bleed, is said to be recovering, but Jackie has been told that but for her swift actions in tending to her it could have been a very different story.

The teenager has been a cadet with St John Ambulance for four years and has urged other people to get taught the life-saving skills.

She said: 'People shouldn't just rely on paramedics. People should learn first aid if they have an opportunity to do it because it does you a lot of good if something like this happens.'

Her proud mother Julie, 39, said: 'I think we've all got a responsibility to look after each other. I'm first-aid trained and her dad is. It doesn't take long, a basic course is four days, and people could end up saving a life.'

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St John Ambulance have been actively seeking to train thousands of youngsters in schools throughout the county as part of a new safety drive launched earlier this year.

Colin Lang, youth and community liaison officer for the Norfolk branch of the first aid charity, is one of two trainers who have been visiting schools and community groups in the county.

He said: 'It's very important and Jackie is testament to that, especially at such a young age which is why we're trying to teach young people the skills.

'These life skills carry on for them all the way through their life. The figure we always quote is there's 150,000 people die every year as a result of not receiving first aid when they need it.'

Marcus Bailey, clinical general manager of the East of England Ambulance Service, praised Jackie's efforts after the crash on October 19. He said: 'She should be extremely proud of her actions and shows the training she has received has been put to good use.'

For information about St John Ambulance call 08700 10 49 50 or visit

Do you owe your life to a first aider? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email