Ennis woman Shirley Benson has been a volunteer with the Irish Red Cross for many years. As an experienced instructor, Shirley regularly trains members of the public in first aid. At a day out with her family Shirley found out how much of a difference that training can make.
At a local fun day, Shirley was stood watching the bumper cars along with other parents who had brought their children for a day out. It was whilst she was waving to the children on one of the rides that Shirley happened to notice a little girl in a stroller who, she thought was waving at her. Initially Shirley waved back but then realised that something was wrong.
Her first aid training kicked in and Shirley quickly made known as a first aider with the Irish Red Cross. It was only when Shirley approached her that the parent also realised that her young daughter was choking. The little girl’s face had turned purple and her lips had begun to turn blue.
Shirley unstrapped the child, turned her upside down, gave five back blows and, on the last blow, the object obstructing her breathing came out. The little girl began to breathe again.
Shirley says, “When I looked at what had popped out of the little girl’s throat I saw that she had chewed off the rubber teat off her drink bottle. She had fallen asleep with it in her mouth and it got caught in her airway”. Thanks to Shirley’s quick thinking the little girl made a quick recovery.
Irish Red Cross volunteers are involved in a range of community activities; including Youth Development, first aid training course, therapeutic care, search and rescue and emergency response.
For more information about how you can get involved with the Irish Red Cross in your community, see www.redcross.ie/get-involved or call 01 642 4600.
May 13th – 19th is National Volunteer Week 2013, to celebrate the Irish Red Cross is sharing real life experiences from volunteers around the country and encouraging more people to get involved with their local Red Cross.