accessibility & help

Mans life saved thanks to Cornwall first aider

28 August 2012

For immediate release Tuesday 28 August
For further information  Samantha Whitwham (swhitwham@redcross.org.uk
Contact number 0117 301 2624 or 07525 128 297

A British Red Cross first aid volunteer from Truro has helped save the life of an 86 year-old man who suffered a suspected heart attack. The gentleman had been enjoying a day out with his wife in Weymouth when the incident happened on Sunday 12 August.

Paul Jones, 32, was volunteering as a first aid cycle responder during the Olympic sailing events in the Dorset town. He and his colleague, Fiona Barton, had been patrolling the Esplanade on custom-built bikes that are fully equipped to save lives when the pair were flagged down by a passer-by.

Paul, who is a clinical support worker at Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, said: “It had been a quiet morning with nothing much happening as the Olympic events were coming to a close. Someone suddenly came running up to us asking for help.”

The first aiders cycled to the assistance of the gentleman who was sitting upright on a nearby bench.

“He looked absolutely grey” explained Paul. “His wife had left him for five minutes and when she returned he was unconscious.”

The man was not breathing, so Paul and Fiona place him on the ground where Paul immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Fiona grabbed a defibrillator from the bike’s medical kit.

Luckily, due to the Olympics, a large medical team were on standby in Weymouth and an ambulance crew on motorbikes quickly arrived. Thanks to receiving immediate CPR and the quick use of a defibrillator, the gentleman eventually regained a regular pulse and was airlifted to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.

Writing on the Dorset Echo website (www.dorsetecho.co.uk) on Monday 20 August, the man’s daughter, Sharon, has said her Dad was making “an amazing recovering”.

She thanked those involved in treating her father, including the Red Cross cycle response team, saying everyone “showed amazing skills, care and dedication.”

Paul, who has been a first aid volunteer for four years, said: “This is why I train and give up my time to volunteer as a first aider. It’s a great feeling to be able to help someone and I am very glad that this gentleman is on the road to recovery.

“CPR is such an easy skill to learn and it really can mean the difference between life and death” explained Paul. “I would encourage anyone to attend a Red Cross first aid course because even knowing the basics and having the confidence to put it into practice can make all the difference in an emergency.”

As well as regularly volunteering as an event first aider, Paul also aims to get involved with the Fire and Emergency Support Service (FESS), which will be launching in Cornwall later this year. The service, which is run by trained volunteers, helps people cope after they have had a fire, flood or any emergency by providing practical help, advice and comfort. Cornwall’s FESS service will be based at Falmouth Community Fire Station, in Trescobeas Road, Falmouth.

To find out more about volunteering for the Red Cross in Cornwall, please contact Claire Willcox on 01872 267 961.

ENDS

For more information on the British Red Cross please visit: http://www.redcross.org.uk

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Notes to editors

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.

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