Smart citizens save lives
AWARDS HONOUR QUICK THINKERS
LISTENING to an audio playback of his young son’s voice calling 000 was an emotional experience for Lathlain father Stephen Palermo.
In March, when Sebastian was still nine years old, Mr Palermo had a severe epileptic seizure. His wife Samatha had taken their youngest son Christian to a swimming lesson, and Sebastian had to cope on his own during the sudden emergency.
“He was quite calm and mature. I don’t think I would have been that calm,” Stephen said.
Sebastian (now 10) was one of several local residents named St John Ambulance WA Community Heroes at an awards ceremony at Government House last Thursday.
The award recognises his efforts to call 000 and follow the call-taker’s instructions to keep his father’s head away from heavy objects as he lay on the floor, staying on the phone until paramedics arrived.
“Hearing it (the audio) again was still quite raw and emotional. I am extremely proud of him,” Mr Palermo said.
WA Governor Kerry Sanderson also presented community hero awards to Gary Kerman of Victoria Park, Tammy Cowan and her 16-year-old son Sasha Thomas of Kensington and Perth Hockey Stadium employee Hope Munro, of Alfred Cove.
Gary Kerman: The Victoria Park man was in a cafe when 62year-old Neville Jones of Canning Vale dropped to the ground, suffering cardiac arrest in the alfresco area where he and a group of cycling mates were enjoying a coffee.
Having recently completed a first-aid refresher course, Mr Kerman began performing CPR on his own until paramedics arrived 10 minutes later. Mr Jones is now recovering well from a triple bypass.
Tammy Cowan, Sasha Thomas and Hope Munro:
Cowan and Thomas were leaving Perth Hockey Stadium in Bentley when they noticed a car stopped in an odd position. When they went to check if everything was OK they found 60-year-old Derek Jobe of Noranda slumped after a cardiac arrest.
Tammy and Sasha pulled Mr Jobe, who had just finished a reg- ular afternoon of hockey practice, out of the car, found he was not breathing and while Sasha called 000, Tammy began CPR.
Stadium employee Hope Munro used the stadium’s Automatic External Defibrillator to administer one shock, which was enough to ensure he had a pulse by the time paramedics arrived.
In hospital, Derek was given two stents and an implanted cardiac defibrillator, and has now made a great recovery.
■ The Governor also presented 26 National Medals and medal clasps to ambulance and communications personnel in recognition of their service.
Paid staff who have provided 15 years of unbroken service for St John were eligible for the National Medal, with clasps for every 10 years of service thereafter.
The National Medal is a recognised award within the Australian Honours System.
St John Ambulance WA Community Heroes Sasha Thomas, Tammy Cowan and Hope Munro with Derek Jobe, who they rescued and revived after he had a heart attack.
Lathlain’s Stephen Palermo with his hero, son Sebastian (10).