Michael Jackson

Joined 1967

Dewsbury Ambulance Cadet Division, West Yorkshire

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Black and white photograph of four Cadets in uniform treating a fifth Cadet who is lying on the floor as a casulty simulation. They are in the process of moving the lying person to a stretcher.
Four Ambulance Cadets lifting another Cadet on a stretcher, c.1960s Image courtesy of the Museum of the Order of St John (NC.HAR.2022.0103)
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I regularly took part in both St John competitions, but I also took part in – in those days there was open competitions. Because in those days the NCB [National Coal Board], the docks, the Police, all had First Aid teams, and in those days the teams would consist of four people. And they had Cadets or their own juniors, and we used to compete against those in the open competitions as well. We regularly won the Area competition, First Aid competition and went on to the Regional one. We never got to National, we was always pipped at the post, we never got to the National. We always got pipped to the post by an NCB team, the Cadet teams that were – because we had, there were divisions that was attached to the National Coal Board. So they had an adult division, they were the First Aiders for St John, as well as they were First Aiders within the pit, so they dual-roled, and they had Cadets that trained with them all the time, and we always got pipped. And we trained separately for that as well. In fact, some days, some weeks should I say, I’d be down at St John on a Monday, Wednesday and a Thursday.

You all had your roles, one would be a captain. The second one would be the person that put on most of the bandages, so they were particularly good at that. So the captain would diagnose the patients and this that and the other. The second one would do bandaging and this that and the other. The third one – because quite often you had more than one patient at these competitions, would be the vice-captain who picked up the second one. And then the fourth one would be the gofer, who sorted out stretchers, who dialled 999, who did all of those sorts of things, because in those days no mobile phones, you had to go to a phone. So they did all that and looked after the equipment and that sort of thing. And then, you know, you sort of mucked in with the other bits and pieces. But those were the primary roles realistically.

Excerpt courtesy of Michael Jackson