St John Cymru Cadets travelled to South Africa in January to compete in the International Cadet Competitions 2020.
Cadet of the Year, Rhiannon, shares her experience of competition day.
Time: 0500 hours
Number of cadets in the shuttle minibus: too many
Jessica Davies, team leader: frantically revising
Me: filming this priceless moment for Snapchat
And that’s when our phones got taken away.
We were put into a room in silence and a 40 mark examination paper on all aspects of first aid theory was put down in front of each of us, and quite frankly, acted as a fantastic catalyst for exaggerating pre-competition nerves.
The International Cadet Competitions 2020 had officially begun!
Prior to this particular scene, as a team, we had delivered a 17 minute long presentation debating the statement: ‘Diabetes: A Global Threat’ to a panel of four judges and an audience which compromised of several competing contingents.
We produced handouts with information, set up a PowerPoint and even gave a live workshop to educate the judges on as to how much sugar is unknowingly in our diets.
But now, there were tick boxes; a question about pregnancy terms and a symptom match series of questions.
Four years of first aid training, three rounds of Welsh competitions and an addiction to ‘Call the Midwife’ were suddenly kicking in.
Having sat the equivalent to A-level in first aid and feeling not that confident with my answers; team Wales were assigned a runner and a transport vehicle (and a slightly upset Rhi).
First Aid Scenarios
We had to complete two individual scenarios - one on a 'drowning' child, another on a cyclist who was experiencing a heart attack and a suspected ankle fracture.
The scores from these were then added to the results of two team tests. The first, a one car accident with 17 casualties. The second, a casualty who had fallen from a height and sustained head injuries as well as a pelvic fracture.
If there had been a prize for a positive, ‘attempt everything’ attitude, I'm confident Team Wales would have come first!
Carrying a metal scoop stretcher down a flight of stairs to bring to the patient was the entertainment nobody asked for but everybody deserved.
Team Test Two
Arriving at an unknown destination in the back of an ambulance with no windows, really set the tone for the next 20 minutes of Team Test 2.
Hopping out of the vehicle like 'St John Power Rangers' in 45 degree heat wearing uniform designed for 20 degree Welsh weather and seeing a real taxi wreckage, was a situation so surreal I don’t think a single one of us could have predicted it.
Decapitated CPR dolls, severely bleeding casualties and a patient concerned about getting to work, littered the scene, alongside a variety of patients with assorted injuries.
Our allocated 20 minutes flew by as we all worked tirelessly to treat as many patients as possible, prioritising as we went. All the while our other team members were supporting on the side-lines and filming the scenes.
A drill element was completed by Maisy Evans who instructed a squad of South African military personnel through an obstacle course which ultimately concluded the day’s events.
We had an agonising wait until the evening until we found out where we had placed. Had we done enough? We sure thought so!
The evening brought about a prize giving ceremony where we were told we had placed 4thoverall!
We were unbelievably happy with this and what made it even better was that each contingent who took part with us had created the most amazing, supportive environment for one another.
Thank you to everyone who helped support, fundraise, and look after us throughout our amazing experience. On behalf of all the Cadets who took part this year, we can't thank you enough!