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Life Saver

JEFF GOODWIN owes his life to fellow cricketer Thomas Finlyason and last month he and his grateful wife were at RAAF Base Richmond to see Leading Aircraftman Finlayson awarded a Chief of Air Force Gold Commendation for his life-saving action.

The two men were playing cricket on the same team, in December 2022, when Jeff collapsed and Thomas used his First Aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training to help him.

Thomas said his team mate was on his back having a seizure, going blue in the face and gasping for air in short, sharp breaths. Two other teammates called triple-zero and when the seizure subsided Thomas started CPR.

“At one point I looked up whilst giving compressions to see if the gate was open for the ambulance to access the field; when I noticed it was closed I screamed to have it opened,” he said.

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“The triple-zero medical operator provided guidance on the time and depth of compressions. I kept the compressions going for 13 minutes until the paramedics arrived, only stopping when advised by the triple-zero medical support to listen to (his) breathing.”

As an Aviation Technician with No. 37 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond Thomas has completed annual first aid and CPR training as part of his compulsory duties for 14 years.

“It felt amazing to know I had saved his life. For all those who do the training, please pay attention as you may need it one day,” said Thomas

Jeff’s wife Sonia said: “No words come close to describing how incredibly grateful I am that Leading Aircraftman Finlayson was playing that day and provided life-saving CPR that ensured my beautiful husband is alive today. Any recognition that comes his way is well and truly deserved,” she said.

Jeff , who spent 72 hours in an induced coma, said: “I’m just happy to be here.”

The commendation certificate reads, “On this day, your leadership and first aid has been recognised as having directly contributed to saving this individual’s life, of which there was only an eight per cent chance of survival outside of a hospital.

“Your life-saving actions have not only helped an individual and their family, they have enhanced the reputation of the Australian Defence Force in the local community.”

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