A Good Samaritan who has leapt into action several times while working at a busy Swansea shopping centre is urging more people to get emergency first aid training.
Jill Peacock, manager of Clintons card shop in the Quadrant Shopping Centre, knows just how vital the right knowledge can be after caring for a man who collapsed outside the store where she works.
Now Quadrant Shopping Centre manager Ian Kirkpatrick has thanked Jill for her quick-thinking and presented her with a bouquet of flowers from the management team in recognition of her kind-hearted nature.
Jill, 47, takes it in her stride and said: “You don’t really think about it, it’s just an automatic thing. I don’t see it as heroic, it’s just training.
“You see something happen and you just have to do what you can. It’s certainly helpful having first aid training and I think more people should learn the necessary skills if they get the chance.”
Ian said: “Our own staff here are fully trained in first aid and resuscitation and are always on the scene quickly and so is Jill and she has done a great job here on a number of occasions.
“We just thought it would be nice to recognise that because it illustrates how important these skills are – they can quite literally save lives.”
Jill has certainly made use of her training having first qualified as a 14-year-old during the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, and put it in to practice many times since.
Most recently she came to the rescue of a passer by outside Clinton’s, where she has worked since it opened at the Quadrant Centre last year.
Jill, who lives in Port Talbot, said: “I was just doing a final check of the shop before closing up and I heard this almighty noise, like a gun going off.
“There was a man absolutely prostrate on the floor – he had had a fit and collapsed and hit his face in the fall so hard he’d broken his nose.
“He was fitting and struggling with his breathing and I put him into the recovery position and monitored him until the security staff and the ambulance arrived. Then I handed over to them, closed up the shop and went home.”
Jill’s actions may have come as second nature to her, but they have been instrumental in ensuring a good outcome for Quadrant shoppers in distress more than once.
She also came to the aid of a diabetic lady in the centre who had complained of pains in her legs and then also began fitting.
Again Jill’s quick-thinking made sure the shopper was safe and comfortable until the security staff and ambulance arrived, and on another occasion during a fire alert in the centre Jill was called upon to man the emergency exits.
She said: “I suppose it is in my nature. If I can do something to help someone I will. My grandfather was an ambulance driver and I was always fascinated by his text books so I suppose it is in my blood.
“At one time I was going to study medicine but wasn’t expected to get the grades so I didn’t even apply.
“Then I got an A and two Bs so maybe I should have done, but it’s too late now.”
Instead Jill spent several years teaching science before working in retail for the last decade and has kept on top of her first aid training thanks to a friend and neighbour.
“The lady who lived next door to me was a St John Ambulance trainer so to keep up her qualifications she had to train a certain number of people and be assessed on that so she taught me for free,” Jill explained.
And Jill’s Good Samaritan behaviour does not only extend to human visitors to the Quadrant as she once saved a doggy in distress at the Swansea mall too.
She said: “There was this really thin, sad-looking lurcher wandering around and trying to get into WHSmith so I used a bit of ribbon as a lead and took it up to my office and gave it some food and water until the dog warden could come and get it.
“Years ago when I was teaching I was first on the scene of a serious road accident and I gave mouth-to-mouth to a fellow student at university once too.
“I just hope someone with the right skills is around should I ever need the same treatment,” Jill added.