BLAKE Spiller was just following in his brothers’ footsteps when he started as a cadet at St John Ambulance.
As an eight-year-old, it was about keeping up with the big boys, while for his parents — Lynette and Frank — it was good to get their kids involved in an after school activity that was not only fun, but invaluable.
Now at the age of 18, the Baranduda cadet has surpassed all their expectations, achieving the prestigious Grand Prior’s award.
He’s only the second cadet in Wodonga to achieve the accolade and he’s chuffed with the result.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said grinning.
“I was pretty excited to get it.”
To get the badge, a cadet must earn 12 proficiency badges before they turn 21 in areas such as family care, fire safety and casualty simulation.
The apprentice fitter and turner has finished as a cadet with St John and he said he enjoyed every second.
“There was the learning first-aid and going to major events (with the first-aiders), plus I got to see my friends here each week,” he said.
St John divisional manager Petra Reynolds said to receive the award was recognition of committed learning.
“It’s led to a self-motivated and capable young person,” she said.
“We’re proud of him.”
The cadets, aged eight to 18, meet on Mondays from 6pm at the St John building, 165 Chapple Street, Wodonga.