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Pembroke paramedic honoured for saving colleague’s life

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A PARAMEDIC from the Welsh Ambulance Service who turned saviour for her colleague as he was choking has been awarded a Chief Executive’s Commendation for her actions.

Hayley Bennett, 39, from Pembroke, came to the aid of her colleague Gareth Jones after a very lucky chain of events led to them being partnered up together for a shift.

Hayley explained: “I was working an overnight shift in Pembroke Dock and a colleague had unfortunately called in sick so I was left on my own.

“Gareth was over in Tenby part way through his late shift and when he heard I was solo he phoned our duty manager and it was agreed after my next job I would head over to Tenby to team up with Gareth to form a conveying emergency ambulance resource.

“It was around 8pm when I walked in and Gareth was sat eating his dinner.

“We began talking and he just started choking.

“I knew he was in trouble straight away.

“His face was bright red and his eyes were bulging.

“He’d jumped out of his seat and was hammering on his chest.”

Gareth’s airways were completely blocked and quick-thinking Hayley took action immediately.

“I was on him in seconds,” she said.

“Back slaps to start with, and really shouting at him to cough as he was trying to breathe in.

“I moved on to the Heimlich Manoeuvre but it dislodged nothing.

“I returned to back slaps quickly and eventually he vomited which cleared his airways.”

Recalling the event, Gareth, 42, who has served 21 years with the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “It frightened the hell out of me.

“I felt like I was going.

“I’d read about the impending sense of doom in text books, and that’s exactly what I had.

“I’m eternally grateful to Hayley.

“Without her my wife would be a widow and my kids would have no father”.

After the incident, the pair stood there in disbelief and both have since admitted that what was over in a couple of minutes felt like a lifetime whilst it was happening.

Hayley said: “I think it felt like such a long time as we were there alone.

“It was one of the most bizarre things that’s ever happened to me – I’ve never had to work on a colleague before.

“It was shocking really, I wasn’t supposed to be there.”

Gareth said: “Someone was looking after me that night.

“They would have found me dead on the station floor if Hayley hadn’t arrived as there was no other medically trained people there that night.”

Whilst Gareth was recuperating, the radio went off and a top priority Red call had come in.

So whilst still reeling from the shock and with Gareth physically recovering, the pair rushed to their ambulance and set off to a seriously ill patient.

“I was still coming down really,” said Gareth.

“I had what was called inspiratory stridor or a high pitch voice as the airway was still partially obstructed.

“It took a little while for that to go.

“Hayley got me a drink and I was starting to feel a little better when I heard our pin number on the radio.

“Hayley joked it was for me, but we were on our way to a Red call.”

Gareth went on to make a good recovery and has recently completed a Masters in Advanced Paramedic Practice.

Hayley continues to work relief shifts around Pembrokeshire, juggling ambulance shifts with paramedic husband Mike and caring for her young son and older step daughter.

Hayley received her award on Tuesday from the Trust’s Chief Executive Jason Killens in a ceremony at Tenby ambulance station.

Jason said: “Gareth was really lucky that Hayley arrived and was able to administer that crucial first aid.

“Choking is something that can happen to anybody and it is important the public are aware of correct procedure should an emergency like this occur.

“I congratulate Hayley for stepping in and halting what could have been a disastrous outcome for Gareth, his family and his colleagues.”

Receiving the award Hayley said: “It’s a lovely gesture and I feel very honoured.”

Choking – Do you know what to do?

·        Do you know what to do in a choking emergency? Here’s what you should do if you witness an adult choking:

·        If you think someone is choking, ask them “Are you choking?” If they can breathe, speak or cough then they might be able to clear their own throat. If they cannot breathe, cough, or make any noise, then they need your help straight away.

·        Cough it out: Encourage them to cough and remove any obvious obstruction from their mouth.

·        Slap it out: If coughing fails to work, you need to give five sharp back blows.

To do this, help them to lean forwards, supporting their upper body with one hand.

·        Squeeze it out: If back blows fail to clear the obstruction, give five abdominal thrusts.

To do this, stand behind them and put your arms around their waist.

Place one hand in a clenched fist between their belly button and the bottom of their chest.

With your other hand, grasp your fist and pull sharply inwards and upwards up to five times. Check their mouth again, each time.

Get help: If the blockage has not cleared, call 999 for emergency help straight away. Repeat five back blows and five abdominal thrusts until help arrives, re-checking their mouth each time.

If they become unresponsive at any point, prepare to start adult CPR.

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Sport

Harrison Allen: Lawrenny go through to quarter finals

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LAWRENNY booked their place in the quarter finals of the Harrison Allen Bowl on Wednesday night (May 25) as they beat Burton by nine wickets.

Lawrenny won the toss and elected to field and they were able to bowl Burton out for just 93.

Burton lost James Davies early on as he was caught by Tom Cole off the bowling of Jamie Lewis.

Ryan Morton also claimed two wickets as Burton slipped to 58-3.

That brought Luke Hayman into the middle with brother Toby and the pair took the score to 67-3 after 13 overs.

Toby reached a score of 37 before heading back to the pavilion while Luke added 12.

Steve Lewis was in fine form for Lawrenny as he took five wickets to finish with 5-13 while Ryan Morton finished with 2-26.

There were also wickets from Jamie Lewis (1-14) and Finley Lewis (1-7).

In reply, Steve Lewis scored 23 before he was sent back. Harry Thomas finished unbeaten on 23 while Troy Purslowe was not out on 45.

It sets up a quarter final against the winners of the game between Hundleton and Cresselly.

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Sport

Llangwm edge past Tish to book Harrison Allen quarter final spot

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LLANGWM secured their place in the quarter finals of the Harrison Allen Bowl on Wednesday night (May 25) as they beat St Ishmaels by 4 runs.

Tish won the toss and chose to field and they restricted Llangwm to 146-9 in their 22 overs.

Noah Davies and Joe Kiff made a good start for the hosts as they shared 67 runs for the first wicket.

Kiff was the first man to go as he was caught by Ieuan Hawkins off the bowling of Brennan Devonald on a score of 27 that had included two fours and two sixes.

Soon after, Davies, who had hit one of each boundary in his score of 27, was also following Kiff back to the pavilion after being bowled by Jonathan Pawlett.

Pawlett also claimed the wicket of Will Beresford before Steven Mills departed on a score of 16 (1 four, 1 six) when he was caught and bowled by Devonald.

That left Llangwm on 107-4 but scores of 15 from Matthew Kiff and 16 not out from David Lewis saw them to their total.

For Tish, Pawlett finished with excellent figures of 4-41 while Devonald finished with 3-25.

Peter Bradshaw hit two early fours in his score of 12 but he was run out.

Karl Rhead and Andrew Palmer shared 42 runs for the second wicket as Palmer made his way to a score of 35.

Rhead was bowled by Steven Mills who then did the same to Brennan Devonald moments later.

Palmer had reached 42 with five fours and a six but when he was brilliantly caught by Luke Brock off the bowling of Mills, Tish had slipped to 77-4.

Phil Cockburn and Jonathan Pawlett then shared 23 runs for the fifth wicket as they looked to keep Tish in the game.

Pawlett hit a six but was then caught by Oliver Davies to give Mills his fourth wicket and figures of 4-28.

Cockburn and Andew Pawlett then shared 37 runs for the sixth wicket as they took the tie down to the final over of the game.

They scored 17 runs off the 20th over and 18 runs off the 21st over meaning they would need 11 off the final over to win it.

Cockburn took a run off the first to bring Pawlett on strike. After missing the third ball he went for a run that wasn’t there and keeper Beresford ran out Cockburn.

He had hit two fours and three sixes in his score of 39 from 30 balls.

Andrew Pawlett and Andrew Williams could only take five runs from the next five balls but it wasn’t enough for victory.

Pawlett finished unbeaten on a score of 20 from 11 balls with one four and two sixes.

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Education

Crymych Panthers hold Boccia competition

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CRYMYCH Panthers Boccia Club recently held their first in-house Boccia competition, with eight members competing in two categories: BC1&2 (participants with a physical impairment) and BC8 (participants with an intellectual impairment).

Games were played in a round robin style competition. The final of the BC1&2 between Racheal Bailey and James Pugh was a very close game with James winning by 3 points to 1. The BC 8 final was between Yvonne Berry and Dewi Evans. Dewi won by 10 points to nil, back on form as a former Welsh international Special Olympic team member.

The competition was sponsored by Andrew Scott Davies of Pembroke who took part in the 2021 CARTEN 100 bike to assist the club.

Andrew Scott Davies presenting the winners and runners up with their trophies. All participants received a certificate of attendance.

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