Little did Garda Patrick McCormack think that almost a year after completing his first-aid training with Order of Malta Ireland that he would have had to put his new life-saving skills into practice. The Ballinasloe man was hailed a hero for saving the life of a nine-day old baby girl at Ennis Garda Station on the 4th of April last.
“I knew I had to act fast”
Gda McCormack, only 4 months out of the Garda Training College at the time, was on duty in the public office of the Garda station when two distraught parents arrived with their baby who had stopped breathing and had turned blue. Speaking to Order of Malta Ireland, Gda McCormack said, “I knew I had to act fast and that there was no time to wait for medical help to arrive”. The quick-thinking Garda, remembering his basic life support training, held the newborn and using a combination of back blows and chest thrusts successfully managed to clear the baby’s airway. Garda Ken Butler, a trained paramedic was also on hand to assist. Speaking of the moment that he knew the baby was going to be alright, Gda McCormack said “I was never as happy to hear a baby cry in my life”.
The baby spent the night in hospital and is understood to be doing fine. As detailed in the Irish Independent, local councillor Ann Norton happened to be there at the time and observed, “The way the Garda spoke to her [mother] and the way he worked on the baby at the same time was actually amazing. I was so impressed.”
1 of 400 Garda Recruits trained by Order of Malta Ireland
Gda McCormack was one of 400 new Garda Recruits that Order of Malta Ireland had the privilege of training to the First Aid Response standard, in February and April of last year. On completion of this comprehensive 3-day course, First Aid Responders are equipped with the necessary practical skills, knowledge and confidence to give effective life support, diagnose and treat injuries or illness, and maintain care and comfort of a patient who has become suddenly ill or injured. Also included as standard is training in CPR for adults, children and infants and the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
On hearing the news, George Robinson, Sales & Marketing Manager with Order of Malta Training Services said: “We are so proud of Garda McCormack and for the way in which he put his first-aid training into effect. Unfortunately, choking is a common emergency among infants and speed is of the essence in achieving a successful outcome. The Garda Training College has to be commended for including first-aid training on the curriculum for new Gardai in training”.
“I felt well prepared… I would encourage everyone to learn CPR”
Having had no training in first-aid prior to joining an Garda Siochana, Gda McCormack says “I felt well prepared to deal with any incidents I might come across in the line of duty and that’s thanks to the extensive training provided by the Order of Malta trainers”. He went on to say, “Every parent should be taught CPR to reassure them to know what to do in the event of an emergency. I would encourage everyone to learn CPR as none of us know when we might be crucial to the future of another person’s life”.