Our lifesavers

31 January 2013

Ashley Miller and his family at the award ceremony.
Ashley Miller and his family at the award ceremony.

In a University community of more than 7000 staff and nearly 50,000 students, there are teams of people who help make this place function and thrive. One of those teams is the Campus Assist Officers from Campus Infrastructure and Services (CIS). They can help with parking, security, cleaning and facility services. They are also our lifesavers.

Last month Campus Assist Coordinator, Ashley Miller was awarded a Royal Life Saving Commendation Award at a ceremony at Government House. He was recognised for performing first aid on an elderly man in June 2010. The man had suffered a heart attack in his car on Codrington Street near the University. Ashley was the first to assist the gentleman, while a number of his CIS colleagues also assisted by calling emergency services, driving the doctor at the university clinic to the patient and diverting traffic around the scene.

"With the help of my colleagues, we were able to get the doctor at the university down to the car in under two minutes. I then helped the doctor perform CPR on the gentleman," Ashley said.

"We've got a good community at the University. On that day, it wasn't the actions of one it was the actions of many. In a short space of time, everyone came together to help."

Ashley later learnt the gentleman did not survive the heart attack. It is something that has stayed with him ever since.

"To this day I don't feel good about it. I wish I could say sorry to his family," Ashley said.

"Whilst the gentleman didn't survive, I am grateful I did do a first aid course. It meant I knew what to do in that situation. The instincts kick in, your hands just go to the right position and you start doing what you need to do.

All Campus Security Officers with CIS are trained in first aid. In 2012 they attended to 101 medical incidences on campus, including a nighttime emergency where a member of the public was badly injured on campus.

"First aid is an invaluable skill and I would encourage everyone to do a course because one day you could help to save someone's life. I've already started teaching my 12-year-old son and six-year-old daughter some of the basics of first aid."

If you are interested in doing a first aid course, Sydney University Sport and Fitness (SUSF) offer courses at a discounted rate to SUSF members, University staff and students. For more information visit the SUSF website.