A FORMER Balfron High School pupil has a very important role to play at the Royal Wedding next Friday when he will be cycling through the crowds to deliver first aid to anyone who needs it.
Alastair Fallon (40) is a trained volunteer with the Cycle Response Unit of St John Ambulance which delivers life-saving first aid in busy, hard to reach locations.
The route to Westminster is expected to have about 600,000 spectators along it and ambulances would be unable to make their way through the huge crowds of people.
The Cycle Response Unit is kitted out with medical equipment such as automated external defibrillators, minor treatment kits and other vital equipment.
Alastair volunteered with St John Ambulance after he cheated death in a car accident at the age of 22. He had just fulfilled his lifelong ambition of joining the RAF and left his base in Cranwell for the weekend to drive to his native Scotland to see his family to celebrate having completed initial training. This journey would dramatically change his life forever.
Alastair said: “As I headed North up the M6 I was confronted with a sight that no driver wants to see - a lorry was jack-knifed across all three lanes in front of me.
“I was going at some speed and had nowhere to turn - my fate was clear but luckily my RAF training kicked in. I made a split-second decision to duck down below the dashboard and this saved my life - as my car hurtled into the side of the lorry the roof was crushed to the level of the headrest.”
Alastair survived but he was in a coma for two weeks and scored just four out of 15 on the Glasgow coma scale - a score of three means that you are dead.
The doctors were doubtful that he would make a full recovery, mentally or physically, but Alastair was a fit and determined young man.
After months of lying motionless he slowly regained his physical and mental strength. Unfortunately his RAF dreams had been dashed, the damage to his head had left him with ‘slower’ reactions and some short term memory loss, so he channelled his focus and energy into new projects.
He became a regular volunteer for St John Ambulance, providing first aid at large scale public events such as the London Marathon, the Queen’s birthday and a triathlon in Hyde Park.
Alastair, who now lives in London, also embarked on a series of cycle rides to raise awareness and money for charities. One of his most prolific journeys was riding 5000km from the northern tip of Chile to the far south. This was even more remarkable as his mum, Christobel, then aged 57 and recently recovered from breast cancer, went with him.
In May Alastair is going to celebrate his 40th birthday and recent engagement, not with a few pints and cake, but with a ride from Lands End to John O’ Groats for ‘Action Medical Research: for Children for life’.
He will be pedalling 1000 miles in nine days and hopes to raise a minimum of £2000 sponsorship for medical research to treat sick and vulnerable babies and children with rare diseases and disabilities.
If you would like to give a cash donation go to www.action.org.uk/sponsor/alfal. All donations help.