Flash mob's CPR gets Blenheim pumping
The sound of a heart beat echoed through central Blenheim on Saturday as St John Ambulance officers got down on the ground and performed CPR on stuffed animals and mannequins.
Twelve Marlborough ambulance officers took part in a flash mob - a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual act for a brief time, then quickly disperse - to raise awareness of their new green uniforms while promoting CPR.
Unsuspecting people milling around town watched curiously as an ambulance with its lights flashing and siren blaring parked at Market Place, on the corner of Market and High streets about noon.
The sound of a heart beat played on a loud speaker as paramedics quickly converged and took off their jackets to reveal their new uniforms. The soundtrack then changed to the beat of the Bee Gees classic Stayin' Alive and the paramedics performed compressions on mannequins.
Organiser and St John Ambulance officer Lynda Gropp said the event was a fun way to introduce the public to the new St John uniform of green pants and top, which replaced the old uniform of woollen trousers and a white shirt on Wednesday last week.
The new uniform was a lot more practical than the old one, Gropp said.
"We've had a lot of good feedback from staff," she said.
"It's much better than white, especially when you're dealing with bodily fluids."
The flash mob, which was performed again at 2pm, had been tricky to organise and difficult to keep quiet, she said.
Consent was needed from St John, police and the Marlborough District Council before it could go ahead, she said.
It was also a good way to demonstrate how CPR was performed.
"It's a way to show how very easy it is to save a life," Gropp said.
At the end of the song, the paramedics packed up their gear and wandered off in different directions.
The ambulance remained at the site with an ambulance officer handing out information on how to perform CPR.