Men awarded for saving the life of their friend

13 November 2020

When Peter Carew-Reid moved out of his Wanneroo home and into an apartment in Joondalup a few years ago he never expected moving day would be quite so dramatic. After being let down by a removalist, he had to frantically ask some friends to assist. Neighbours Garry Roach and Craig Wood offered to help, and they quickly got on with the hard work of loading and unloading furniture.

Peter says all seemed to be going well until the final piece of furniture was coming off the truck. “Garry and Craig were carrying the last sofa and I said to Garry ‘you don’t look so good, let me get that’. We took it upstairs and he followed us, but said he didn’t feel well so sat down on the sofa for a bit. I got him some water but after a few minutes Craig decided it’d be best if we got Garry to the hospital.”

Craig left to get his car and Garry wanted some fresh air so went outside, a moment later Peter heard somebody yelling for help. “I ran downstairs and the guy driving the truck had seen Garry collapse and hit his head on the wall as he went down the stairs. I checked him and he wasn’t breathing at all and started going blue.”

Thankfully Peter had recently done a refresher course of First Aid for his job, so he began to perform CPR on his friend. “After a few minutes he started to breathe so I put him in the recovery position, but virtually straight away he stopped breathing so I started doing CPR again. Then Craig got back and rang the ambulance before helping me with the CPR. When the ambulance arrived, they had to shock him with a defibrillator around three times to get his heart going again.”

Garry was taken to hospital and made a full recovery, thanks largely to his friends’ quick actions and CPR training. Peter says the training he’d done regularly for his work made a real difference. “It was a very emotional day, I would have found it a lot easier if it was somebody I didn’t know, but because it was somebody who was helping me I felt really guilty about it and kept wondering what I would say to his wife if he passed away. Without the First Aid training I’d done through work I’m not sure I would have been able to respond in that emotional state.”

For their excellent collaborative response, which saved their friend’s life, Peter and Craig recently received Royal Life Saving WA Gold Medallion Bravery Awards. We congratulate them for acting so calmly in such a stressful situation.

When was the last time you completed a first aid or CPR course? Would you know how to save the life of a friend or family member if they needed you to? Book into a Royal Life Saving WA First Aid or CPR course at the link below and know that you’re ready to help!

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