A runner who collapsed after Warwick’s first half-marathon has praised volunteers from St John Ambulance who came to his aid as an ambulance struggled to get through the crowds.
The new unit of first aiders - which has been set up in the town following the split with members of the Warwick Ambulance Association - were on hand to help if any of the nearly 2,500 runners in the event organised in March by the British Heart Foundation got into difficulties.
Ben Smith, aged 30, from Solihull, considered himself a fitness fanatic and certainly didn’t expect to need help.
But he collapsed at the end of the 13-mile course unaware that he had dehydrated and his body temperature was dangerously high.
St John district manager Adam Williams, who was one of the first on the scene, said: “Ben was very unwell when he finished the course - his blood pressure was low and his body temperature and blood sugars were very high.
“We put him in the recovery position, monitored his airways and tried to keep him safe and warm with blankets to bring his temperature down gradually.
“There had been lots of rain in the morning and conditions were very muddy even for our 4x4 ambulance, but we were able to take Ben across to the field hospital where our paramedics gave him more advanced care to bring down his body temperature which had peaked at 41c.”
Ben (pictured left) said: “I can’t thank the St John volunteers enough for what they did for me that day. They made a real difference and I don’t like to think what would have happened without them. I would encourage anyone who wants to learn first aid to get in touch with their local uhit.”
For St John training information ring 0121 236 6660.