St John Ambulance Cymru’s Chief Volunteer receives Royal Humane Society recognition after he saved his colleague’s life

St John Ambulance Cymru’s Chief Volunteer was recently awarded a Certificate of Commendation by the Royal Humane Society for saving his colleague’s life last year.

Richard J Paskell, a Detective with South Wales Police, was at work when his colleague went into cardiac arrest after returning from a run. Richard was summoned to the scene immediately, calling for the nearest defibrillator to be brought along by a bystander and commenced CPR right away.

Thanks to the prompt action by Richard and other bystanders, their colleague began breathing again and his life was saved.

South Wales Police nominated Richard for the Royal Humane Society’s Commendation, which was recently presented to him at South Wales Police Headquarters, by Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan.

Richard has been St John Ambulance Cymru’s Chief Volunteer since 2017 and has committed countless hours to supporting the charity; protecting the public at events, representing other volunteers across Wales and spreading awareness of lifesaving first aid.

He had undergone various first aid training days with his work and regularly practices first aid techniques as an operational member of St John Ambulance Cymru, so he had the skills and knowledge required to act quickly in an emergency.

“This incident really highlights the importance of first aid in the Chain of Survival, proving the quicker you act, the more chance you have to save someone’s life,” Richard explained.


“‘Early recognition and calling for help’ – I quickly identified that something was wrong and arranged for 999 to be called.


“‘Early Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation’ – I immediately started good quality CPR, thanks to the training provided by St John Ambulance Cymru and South Wales Police.


“‘Early Defibrillation’ – Our building is lucky to not only to have a defibrillator inside, but also outside as part of the Public Access Defibrillator Scheme (PADS).


“‘Post Resuscitation Care’ – Both the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust and the Welsh Air Ambulance attended, and our patient was evacuated to the nearest hospital where he remained for a period of time, receiving excellent care.”


“All of this resulted in a quick recovery for our patient, who is already back in work.”


St John Ambulance Cymru’s mission is to save lives and enhance the health and wellbeing in the communities of Wales, something very close to Richard’s heart.


The incident is a perfect example of why first aid training is so important and St John Ambulance Cymru would like to extend their congratulations to Richard for receiving this well-deserved award.


You too can learn to save lives by becoming a volunteer with the first aid charity for Wales. Find out more at


Caption: St John Ambulance Cymru Chief Volunteer Richard Paskell with South Wales Police Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan.

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