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Here at Yorkshire (North & West) ACF, all of our members are trained in First Aid and how to deal with emergencies. Yesterday, that training suddenly came into sharp focus for 18 year-old Staff Cadet Sergeant Diane McCafferty.


25 June 2021

  • Yorkshire (North And West) ACF

Staff Cdt Sgt McCafferty, who is based at C Company's Yeadon Detachment and has been a cadet since the age of 12, was in Bradford on Wednesday afternoon (23rd June 2021), on her way home from an ice hockey session in the city.

Suddenly, she heard a noise behind her, so she turned round and saw that a man was on the ground. It looked like he had fallen over, so she immediately rushed to help him. She recounted, "I stayed calm and jumped into action, trying to remembering everything I had been taught."

Then the man started fitting. Staff Cdt Sgt McCafferty instantly realised that she was going to need additional help so she rang 999, while grabbing her coat to place it under the man's head. Other members of the public had started to gather, and some of them were going to try to lift the man to get him to sit up, so 18 year-old Diane had to take control of the situation and told them not to. She was now being given advice on the phone while the ambulance was on its way - in addition, she was using her phone to time how long each fitting episode lasted.

A short time later, the man became unresponsive and very still. Staff Cdt Sgt McCafferty then had to check he was breathing and still had a pulse. After instructing a member of the public she had asked to assist her, they then carefully rolled the man onto his side, while supporting his head and neck, and making sure his airways were kept open. This action then exposed a previously-hidden cut on the back of the man's head. Staff Cdt Sgt McCafferty said, "I took off my jumper and used it to put pressure on the wound that appeared to have been sustained when he had fallen. Throughout, I spoke to the man constantly in order to reassure him until the ambulance crew arrived." The ambulance crew were able to take over, and the man was quickly taken to hospital.

A family member of the cool-headed Staff Cdt Sgt McCafferty also contacted Yorkshire (N&W) to tell us about the incident. "Diane was very very brave and showed really skills when dealing with the elderly man - what a credit to her Company and your County."

We, of course, absolutely agree. The ever-modest Staff Cdt Sgt McCafferty was also full of praise - not for her own actions, however, but for the Adult Volunteers who give up their free time to ensure that their cadets receive this vital training.

"If it wasn’t for my Detachment and Company staff," she said, "I would not have been able to do what I did today, so thank you."

Staff Cadet Sgt McCafferty typifies the fine young people who make up our membership. Well done - we are all very proud of you!