In Freemasonry, we benefit from many members personal experience in the running of our Lodges - many accountants are Treasurers of Lodges, many administrators are Secretaries of Lodges.
How many times, I wonder, does a Mason’s other hobbies come into play in such a dramatic way as one of our Warwickshire members?
W Bro Stuart Jenkins, of Forest of Arden Lodge No 3826 and Shenstonian Lodge No 5544 has been called upon to practice a peculiar set of skills on two occasions in the past couple of years, both within the depths of Masonic Ceremony.
Stuart is a Community First Responder (CFR) for West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS), and secretary of FastAid Birmingham and Solihull, one of the First Responder Charities working with WMAS. Community First Responders are volunteers who stand by at their homes or workplaces, and respond to critical 999 calls when they are able to reach an incident faster than the nearest ambulance resource.
The first time in Lodge that Stuart was called upon to use his diverse skills, was when a visitor to his lodge collapsed during the Installation, just as Stuart was about to invest the new Master. Switching roles from Installing Master to CFR without batting an eyelid, Stuart called further assistance and assisted the attending Paramedics, before seamlessly resuming the role of Installing Master.
On another occasion, Stuart noticed the Junior Warden in another Lodge become ill during the ceremony. He was able to remove the poorly Brother from the Lodge, and administer help whilst calling for further assistance from WMAS.
CFR’s are a vital resource in our communities. Trained by the Ambulance Service and equipped with Oxygen, a defibrillator and other equipment, they all volunteer to spend at least 20 hours per month on call, and also to support Medical Event Cover, and defibrillator training. FastAid is currently working with the Province to train Brethren in the use of the Defibrillators located in each Masonic Centre in the Province. WMAS trains these volunteers to a high standard, and it costs £1850 to equip each volunteer.
FastAid has been nominated to receive an award from the MCF as part of the Tercentenary Celebrations. If you would like to help FastAid gain funds which will undoubtedly go towards equipping the 8 new CFR’s currently under training, please visit https://mcf.org.uk/region/warwickshire/ and vote for FastAid!