Michael Jackson

Joined 1967

Dewsbury Ambulance Cadet Division, West Yorkshire

Listen to this interview:
Black and white photograph with three boys in the foreground treating a partially obscured casualty lying on the ground. The boys are wearing non-uniform jackets and a fourth boy stands over them watching in a dark duffle coat. Behind them in the stadium are other small groups carrying out similar exercises.  
Cadets in York learning how to cope with casualties on the terraces at football matches, 1977 Image courtesy of the Museum of the Order of St John
Read transcript +


We regularly did Dewsbury Rugby League, and that was a thing. We did lots of galas, some of them very small sort of church galas, some a bit bigger. I can remember in my later days of being a Cadet doing a rodeo, I went to a rodeo, and that was just before I left the Cadets really and moved on into the adults. But yes. We started in the later days of the Cadets going to Huddersfield Town and covering Huddersfield Town. That was in the old ground, I can remember that quite – because that was the day when – the days when football hooliganism was at its height. So I can remember us all being locked in the First Aid post at the time for us own safety with police outside, while the police sorted out what was going off outside.

I can remember my first cardiac arrest when I was a Cadet, and that was at Dewsbury Rugby, and it was a player, and I assisted with that. Luckily there were a couple of doctors around, so they took the lead on it. But yes I actually did cardiac massage as a Cadet. That was one of them. The rodeo was particularly eye opening, and because the patients were just falling off horses and doing all sorts of things. We were fairly busy for that. And it was in the days when the NHS ambulance service wasn’t like it was, and they all had the County Boroughs, because they go back a long time, the County Boroughs had their own ambulance service. So Dewsbury was covered by a County Borough ambulance. And on a Saturday, which it was, they only had one vehicle on. And we could see that vehicle just going over the horizon on the other hill with a patient in. And a gentleman came out of a beer tent and fell on the tent peg on his eye. So he was in a mess. And luckily, I say this with tongue-in-cheek, there was another ambulance there onsite, which was a Scout ambulance, which there was – they did it for mountain rescue and sort of thing, supposedly. But it was full of ropes and this that and the other. And a police officer who was also a member of St John Ambulance turned around and said, “That ambulance is taking that patient to hospital.” And he had to clear it out, the Scout master drove the ambulance, and we – myself, my dad, and my uncle went inside the ambulance dealing with the patient and holding the stretcher in position while we took him to the hospital. Those were the days that, you know, we sort of lived in. And we had a policeman sat aside of the – a Special Constable sat aside of the driver. And he’d already he’d lost his eye in an industrial accident or something, so he had a glass eye, so we didn’t stop for anything, and we just, it was so unusual. But yeah, we took him to hospital.

Excerpt courtesy of Michael Jackson