STAKE Hill resident Jessica Parker has been given the chance to do what she loves on the world stage – she's going to the 2012 London Olympics.
But unlike the thousands of Australian competitors and spectators, Jessica will be volunteering her time as a first aid officer to help anyone in need.
She is one of five Australians and the only West Australian selected to attend the games to man first aid posts at outdoor events, with 34 selected worldwide.
The 21-year-old said she was “very happy” once she found out her application for the program was successful, especially once she realised there was only a select few going from Australia.
Jessica works for Alcoa as an emergency response officer and volunteers with St John’s Rockingham division in her spare time.
She has dedicated the past six years to volunteering and helping people, and holds a number of first aid certificates.
“I love helping people,” Jessica said.
“I especially like helping children and have always been able to communicate with children with disabilities well.
“I used to teach disabled children swimming and it was great to see a lot of them who go from being scared to put their head into the water to jumping in without any fear.”
Helping people gives the London-born volunteer a great deal of satisfaction.
Giving people assistance in anything from teaching children to swim or administering first aid, to Jessica it comes naturally.
Describing how she manages to jump into 'first aid mode' Jessica said “it's like a switch that I can just turn on and off”.
After her years of experience and training Jessica is able to take control of a situation and administer first aid, even in times where she requires medical attention.
One memory Jessica has of naturally turning her first aid switch on was when she was in a car accident after the other driver failed to give way.
Her car collided with the other driver's and instead of making sure she was okay, unaware of the burns on her left arm, Jessica rushed over to help the fellow driver.
It wasn't until a paramedic arrived on scene and made Jessica aware of her condition that she was forced to turn that switch off and seek medical attention herself.
Jessica will be relying on this switch in London but said she is a little nervous about having such a big crowd and working with new people but is excited to be part of such a great experience.
The St John grand prize winner has been a first aid officer for many events over her years of service but nothing as big as the Olympics.
One event she’s especially looking forward to is the marathon and is hoping to man the first aid post so she can have a chance to catch a glimpse and be part of the hype.
Jessica’s mum Jacqui said: “We're very proud of her being selected from so few, and a little excited too”.
“Having emigrated from the United Kingdom in 2002, this also gives Jessica a chance to visit her relatives before the games start.”
She’s looking forward to spending two weeks with her family before taking part in the biggest sporting event in the world.
Jessica flies out July 14 and returns on August 14.