Darryl Rice has volunteer for 30 years with St John Ambulance, which in 2013 celebrated 130 years of teaching first aid in Queensland. Elisabeth Attwood caught up with Darryl.

Darryl Rice shares his experiences with us

How many lives have you saved?

More than one hundred.

How does it feel to rescue someone?

It’s exhilarating. I’ve also instructed a lot of people in first aid treatment and when I hear that one of my students has saved a life, it is exhilarating too.

What about when things go wrong?

Sadly not every resuscitation is a success. I went as a volunteer with another organisation to Africa in August this year. We had a drowning and sadly he passed away. Young men, alcohol and water don’t mix, wherever you are in the world. But you get in and have a go. I tell my students not to gauge a success on whether a person lives or dies, the important thing is that you have a go.

How difficult is first aid?

I would like to see everybody learn first aid. It is relatively simple. Fear or ignorance is often a barrier to people wanting to do something but over the last five years, resuscitation has been simplified and there are many easy to use defibrillators available in public areas now. It has meant survival rates have gone from 8 percent to more than 70 percent.

What should you do when faced with an emergency situation?

If you’ve got training, do what your training tells you. If you are dealing with a dangerous situation, make it as safe as possible – don’t just rush in, protect yourself and other bystanders first. Call for ambulance as soon as possible.

 Quick first aid tips

  • Unconscious? Ring 000
  • Bleeding? Apply direct pressure to the wound and elevate it.
  • Burn? Run under cool water for at least 20 minutes.
  • Fracture? Stop it from moving.
  • Wear gloves if you have them.

St John Ambulance is a self-funded charity. First aid courses are available before and after work as well as on weekends. First aid kits and equipment are available for purchase online. Tel 1300 360 455, www.stjohnqld.com.au.