A Ballarat East man has been honoured for his intuition and quick thinking as part of the St John Ambulance Victoria First Aid Champion Awards.
Matt Cash was on a typical Sunday morning run with his mate, David Fraser, last year when suddenly Mr Fraser collapsed.
Mr Cash, having done a CPR refresher course a week prior to the incident, sprung into action working on compressions for at least ten minutes on Mr Fraser.
However, despite Mr Cash's best efforts, Mr Fraser began to turn grey which led Mr Cash to stop for a moment and ponder how else he might be able to help his friend.
During this time Mr Fraser's wife looked on, another person continued to complete compressions on Mr Fraser and a third person phoned triple-zero.
It was in this moment Mr Cash's brain clicked as he spotted a truck nearby which would contain the life saving equipment Mr Fraser desperately needed.
"I thought, 'one of those trucks will have a defibrillator on it', another truck came over and I waved it down and asked, they did, so they flew out of the truck, helped us out and whacked the defib on (Mr Fraser)," Mr Cash said.
Less than a year later, Mr Fraser went from being a cardiac arrest patient to completing a 70km ultramarathon all thanks to Mr Cash's swift efforts.
On Wednesday, Mr Cash was presented with both the Overall Champion and CPR First Aid Champion awards by St John Ambulance Victoria along with the St John G5 Defibrillator, for his ability to enact first aid skill and knowledge which had a lasting impact to a person's life.
Mr Cash was humble in his acceptance of the awards saying he did not see himself as a hero.
"I did what I needed to do to help my friend who was in trouble," he said.
"If anything, by winning this award, I just hope that it raises awareness and I hope that it might inspire someone else or other people to think about getting their first aid training or CPR certificate moving forward."
Emilie Hook was another Ballarat name in the mix of awards having scooped up First Aid Champion in the junior category.
Emilie awoke early one morning to find her mother screaming when her younger sister, Ella, three-years-old at the time, turned blue and became unresponsive.
This led Emilie to jump right into action aiding her mother and her younger sister, through calling triple-zero.
Once her younger sister became more stable, Emilie prepared for the paramedics' arrival and even offered to help carry their response bags.
IN THE NEWS:
Research has found 77 per cent of Australians have witnessed a first aid incident, yet only one in eight know exactly what to do.
Additionally, independent strategic research consultancy, Lonergan, reported confidence in responding to a first aid incident is low, with 44 per cent of Australians being too scared to do something in case they made it worse.
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