St John cadets descend on Stoke
Ambulances, St John staff and more than 180 young St John volunteers were out in force in Stoke, but it wasn’t for a mass emergency. Nelson was playing host to annual national cadet competitions.
The competitors, who ranged between 14 and 17 years old, were competing last weekend in areas of first aid, healthcare, leadership, communications and drills.
Waimea College student Caitlynn Illingworth, 17, was competing as an individual in the annual youth festival competition.
‘‘It challenges you and puts you into a situation where you go in and have to figure out what’s going on and the best method of treatment for the patient,’’ she said.
‘‘I had one test in the Stoke mall where I had a female patient who had fallen over due to some medication and had injured her hip, and also had injuries to her head and arm.’’
Illingworth had to assess what was going on and also work with the patient’s daughter to understand how she would be feeling.
Another scenario had involved a stabbing and two intoxicated people.
‘‘The police were involved so it really just involved trying to control the bleeding of the stabbing patient who had gone into shock due to the loss of blood ... it was a really big mix of things going on.’’
St John’s Director of Community Health Services Sarah Manley said the competition provided cadets with a chance to develop skills and work together from an early age.
‘‘The ethos behind St John Youth is developing skills, building selfesteem and creating a sense belonging,’’ Manley said.
‘‘This is especially pertinent in today’s society, where there are many different pressures and demands on young people. St John has a proud 90-year history of producing young Kiwis who go on to be productive citizens.’’
Props, make-up and ‘patients’ were used in every phase of the competition to recreate realistic accident and medical emergency situations.
The scenarios were happening in locations around Stoke and included a staged emergency at a retirement home, as well as an abseiling accident at the Scout hall.
St John’s national cadet of the year Cascade Price, 18, who has been involved with St John for nine years, said she’d been really impressed with the standard of the competition this year.
‘‘I get to oversee the tests and different competitions they’re going into. The communication and the drill has been really awesome and I’m so happy with the high level the cadets have shown.’’
Judges used a specific marking system, with competitors receiving points for how well they approached patients, assessed the situations, and managed injuries.