A NORTH Petherton councillor is supporting St John Ambulance's pledge for free first aid training for communities affected by flooding in Somerset.

The charity, which saw almost 40 volunteers give up their time to run 24-hour first aid points at rest centres in Bridgwater and North Petherton during the emergency, is working with parish councils and local councillors to set up courses.

St John Ambulance staff member, Richard Brown, lives in North Newton and his home was almost overwhelmed by the floods.

He feels he had a lucky escape, compared to those who have had water enter their homes and will be unable to live in them during the coming months.

Richard, who is also Somerset County Councillor for North Petherton, is taking the charity up on the offer of free first aid training courses for people in his ward, which includes the village of Moorland, and he is encouraging his fellow councillors and parish councils to do the same.

“I've seen the devastation that floods can cause in our communities at first hand,” said Richard.

“While we all hope flooding won't be so severe in future, I'm very pleased that St John Ambulance is helping people to be better prepared for any medical emergencies that may arise, particularly in communities that become isolated by flood waters.

“Under those circumstances, first aid skills could be the difference between lives lost and lives saved.”

George Tarte from St John Ambulance is in the process of contacting parish councils in Somerset's flood-hit areas. Council's in flood-hit areas who haven't heard from Mr Tarte should call 01452-858225.

For more information visit www.sja.org.uk