Barkingside 12-year-old is youngest ever to be trained to use defibrillator in UK

James Duffy, the UKs youngest person ever to be trained in using a defibrillator, collected a Jack

James Duffy, the UKs youngest person ever to be trained in using a defibrillator, collected a Jack Petchey Achievement Award on Thursday - Credit: Archant

The UK’s youngest person ever to be trained in using a defibrillator is also one of the UK’s youngest and longest serving St John Ambulance volunteers.

James, 12, who attends King Solomon High School in Forest Road, Barkingside, has been a volunteer with the organisation since he was six and has already helped countless people with their cuts, stings and sprains.

“I started with the St John Ambulance Beavers and really enjoyed it,” said James.

“We learnt basic first aid and how to use bandages. I’m in the cadets now and we do more advanced things such as learning about medical conditions in more detail.

“I find the hands-on training really interesting and I’m glad that I have the skills to help my family and friends in an emergency if they needed me.”


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James volunteers at fetes and fairs where he helps “people with bleeding” as well as other minor problems and in a few years will be able to volunteer at larger events including football matches and concerts.

“I really like learning about science and technology, so I enjoy the training I get with St John Ambulance,” he added.

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“I want to be a vet when I’m older, so learning about first aid is a start.”

James, who collected a Jack Petchey Achievement Award on Thursday, has also persuaded his mum and friends to volunteer as well and says the work the volunteers do is vital.

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