March 28th 2014


A Cadet from Derbyshire was announced as the winner of the St John Ambulance Young Hero of the Year Award at an event held earlier this week (Wednesday 26 March).

Lance Corporal Sam Herbert, of Derbyshire Army Cadet Force (ACF), won the award after helping a man who collapsed last year.

Describing what happened, Sam said: “I was walking down the street after Army cadets one evening in May when a man in front of me fell over. I heard the wallop of his head on the floor and he was having a fit.

“I put him in the recovery position, but his condition was starting to deteriorate and he stopped breathing so I started chest compressions. Because of my condition, I was worried I wouldn’t have the strength to perform CPR for very long so I showed a woman who was passing by how to do it. He was breathing again before the ambulance arrived.

“When the paramedics arrived, they said we’d done the right thing and that if we hadn’t helped him he probably would have died. I never saw him again but I’m told he survived. We do lots of practice at first aid in the Army Cadets but I never thought I’d have to use it in real life.”

Sam, aged 15, from Derby, suffers from a medical condition that reduces his strength but his swift action and first aid skills enabled him to save the life of a 55-year-old stranger.

Despite his medical condition Sam doesn’t let health issues hold him back. “I’ve done scuba-diving with Army cadets, I have a black belt in kung fu and I’m about to do the Three Peaks Challenge with my dad.”

Alan J Sharkey MBE TD, National First Aid Policy Adviser at the Army Cadet Force Association, said: “Recognising Cadets who step forward as Sam did is important. First aid training in the ACF provides accredited training, opportunities to practice realistic scenarios and both the skills and confidence to step forward often when others don’t as Sam so graphically showed”.