Flat Bridge hero wants first aid training mandatory in schools

Martino Cooper said his lack of first aid knowledge left him feeling powerless on the morning of February 25 when he watched a beloved taxi operator dying while driving across the treacherous Flat Bridge in St Catherine.

“I was basically clueless,” said the 24-year-old Bog Walk resident, who noted that he does not get flustered in ‘adrenaline rush’ moments.

Cooper is adamant that he, in a split second on February 25, saved himself and two male passengers who could have ended up in the deadly Rio Cobre water, which runs under Flat Bridge.

He explained that he swiftly took control of the steering wheel from the ailing driver, Dane Reid, and prevented the taxi from falling off the bridge.

Cooper said the driver lost control of the taxi because he seemingly passed out. The driver died of a heart attack, a post mortem later revealed.

This is where the car eventually ended up after miraculously completing the journey across Flat Bridge

Now that Cooper is aware of the cause of death and other facts, he is almost sure that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) would not have saved the taxi driver. “I later understand that he died on the spot; there is nothing I could have done to save his life.”

However, Cooper, in the spur of the moment after the car was safely off the bridge, thought that CPR was necessary in his frantic effort to assist the driver.

“The thing that bothered me the most is that I knew nothing about CPR; I did not know what to do,” he lamented.

He said he would not hesitate to perform a CPR although the driver, Reid, was frothing at the mouth. “Mi nuh mind the spit weh catch mi pants from Dane mouth; mi nuh scorn anything,” he further declared.

ALSO READ: I grabbed the steering | New hero emerges in Flat Bridge tragedy

Cooper, who cheated death twice, told The Beacon that the Flat Bridge incident has sparked his interest in first aid training.

He disclosed that, a few hours after the drama unfolded, he started to research and study first aid, adding that his children will also be equipped with such knowledge.

Cooper also called for first aid training to become mandatory in the formal education system. “Most definitely it should be taught in schools; it is something that anybody can need at any time,” he posited.

By Horace Mills, Journalist


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