Tim Marchinton, CFA Volunteer from Dromana Fire Brigade, has won the Community First Aid Champion award from St. John Ambulance for 2019.
The annual First Aid Champions Awards provide an opportunity for Victorians to honour those who have made an impact to people’s lives. There are five categories to recognise the unsung heroes, colleagues, classmates, friends and family members who have used their first aid skills on others.
In 2018, Tim was running an adventure camp for children with a disability through an organisation he founded and manages, Purple Soup. During the camp in Queensland, Tim resuscitated a member of the general public on a public pathway (Mark), who had collapsed and was having a seizure. He soon deteriorated into cardiac arrest. First managing the seizure by protecting his head and timing the seizure then performing CPR, with a bag valve mask with oxygen administration, Tim eventually had to defibrillate Mark.
Tim is part of the road rescue response team in Dromana and has been a part of many first aid emergencies as a part of his role with CFA – but rarely has used his skills in everyday life. “The most common first aid we do at fires is for smoke inhalation,” Tim explained. “This time was different, I wasn’t turning out to an incident and it was completely unexpected.”
Tim repeated his first aid training with St. John this past Sunday, and said he learns something new every time.
“Each year the CFA provides me the opportunity to complete both ‘Provide First Aid and Advanced Resuscitation’ and ‘Oxygen Administration’ certifications. I did my first ‘First Aid Level 3’ qualification with the CFA back in 1991, when I was 18 years old” Tim said. “It was as a result of my training with CFA and St. Johns, I was able to save Mark’s life.”
“We are very proud of Tim’s service to the CFA as a volunteer firefighter and accredited road accident rescue response operator. His commitment to ongoing training which has proven to be vital in this incident, with significant life-saving benefit to a community member,” Dromana Brigade’s Officer in Charge and Captain, Timothy Desmond, said.
Following the revival, Mark underwent emergency triple bypass surgery and has since made a full recovery. “I’m exceptionally thankful the CFA gave me the opportunity to do this back in the day – it was a big investment, and I’ve kept up the skill level,” Tim said. “One of the most special parts of receiving the award is that Mark was there on the day with me.”