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I was out running with two friends, we’d just come into St. Ives, Cambridgeshire. All was going well, but that’s the last memory I have of that day. I’d suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. My heart had stopped beating and so all my vital organs were being starved of oxygenated blood.

Brain cells can only last about 3 minutes without oxygen. Then they die, as would I. The clock had started ticking… tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…. Three minutes is not a long time but could my friends help me? They didn’t understand what was going on. They didn’t know what to do. ‘Why has he fallen down?’, ‘Why won’t he answer us?’. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…..

I lay there, they stood there, not knowing what to do. Then the miracle. Not a miracle, a chance encounter. A passing motorist saw me lying on the ground, stopped, got out, and took action. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. One of my friends was instructed to call 999 whilst the motorist started Basic Life Support. It’s called Basic Life Support because it’s simple. He pushed hard and fast on the centre of my chest, and in so doing he drove what oxygen was in my blood, up to my brain.

Those chest compressions bought me a few extra minutes but they were the crucial minutes I needed. They were the minutes that kept my brain alive until the ambulance arrived. The ambulance crew attached a defibrillator and pressed the shock button. After a shock from a defibrillator, it can take a couple of minutes for the heart to restart, so for the next two minutes they continued to push hard and fast. Keep the brain alive. Two minutes later and the defibrillator assessed my heart rhythm again. Success!

I was transported the short distance to Papworth Hospital in Cambridge where I was treated and spent the next three days in a coma.

I now walk around with an ICD – Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator implanted into my chest. I marvel at the technology. I marvel at the teamwork that saved my life. I marvel at the odds of me surviving, the motorist who stopped, who wasn’t even supposed to be there at that time. If he’d been 10 seconds earlier or a minute later, I would have died. So the odds of me surviving were frighteningly small.

But we can change those odds. The more of us who learn the simple skills of Basic Life Support, and take action in an emergency, then the greater the chance of someone with those skills being in the right place at the right time. Yes, there is an investment for you, friends, colleagues to make, but the potential reward cannot be measured. Since my fantastic recovery, I’ve completed first aid training and joined that band of people who know what to do when someone collapses.

 

Step 1. Call 999 and request someone goes for the nearest defibrillator.

The 999 call-taker can tell you where this is.

Step 2. Start Basic Life Support. Push hard and fast on the centre of the chest.

Step 3. Use the defibrillator as soon as it arrives.

Switch it on and follow its voice prompt instructions.

 

  

The skills are simple, but you’ll be quicker and more efficient if you practise them on a first aid course. 

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock….

 

Thanks for reading.

Feedback from Previous Attendees

 

  • Really enjoyable and informative course, delivered expertly. Support materials and teaching aids were great. Thanks
  • A great course, really enjoyed it. Many thanks.
  • A great course very safely delivered given the covid restrictions. Still able to think about incidents and be better prepared for what to do if they occur.
  • In depth training
  • Scenarios were very useful and informative, especially the reflective learning.
  • Another great day! Really enjoyed it. Many Thanks.
  • Well run and fun course despite the challenges of running in covid.
  • Strange times with Covid but course was well executed and great use of additional tools to support. 😊
  • Amazing course. I feel much more confident. Amazing trainer. I think this is the first training session I haven’t fallen asleep or even wanted to. Team Andrew 😊
  • Great course. Lots of work and commmitment from Decisive First Aid. Extra miles done for us to enjoy and to like the course. Very motivating.
  • The Instructor Andy was brilliant. He presented himself and course really well.
  • Very good course. Andrew was engaging and it was an interactive course, all done in a covid secure way.
  • Great course/Great Teacher – Would highly recommend.
  • Trainer delivered the course very well, kept us engaged.
  • Very well run – feel the course met my expectations and I feel confident to deal with issues.
  • Andrew explained things very clearly and was enjoyable to listen to. Just the right amount of information for a one day course.
  • Great course, good use of slides and practical exercises.
  • I particularly liked the friendly relaxed attitude.
  • It was interactive with real life examples.
  • I loved the practical method and I love learning more about helping people.
  • I learned new things I am confident will come in handy one day and hopefully be able to help someone should the situation present itself.
  • Really happy with the content we covered.
  • A very good day, enjoyable and informative.
  • Very organised event. Professional
  • Excellent course. Excellent tutor.
  • Very well delivered. Excellent equipment with a chance to try everything. Learning needs met. Thanks
  • Lovely First Aid course
  • Attended Emergency First Aid at Work course with Andrew in Stevenage this was an excellent course, very informative and all practical skills assessed.
  • As a person with dyslexia all possible assistance was given to me without any difficulty.
  • I liked the use of props to demonstrate.
  • Very much informative.
  • I particularly liked how the training linked to our own work environment. Very Interesting and easy to follow.
  • Andrew explained everything clearly and made the whole course interesting throughout.
  • I liked the scenarios.
  • I particularly liked the hands on training
  • Really good course.
  • Very informative. I feel I am prepared as I can be for if such a situation should arise. Fantastic Training.
  • Feel confident that if ever needed to put into practice/real incident, I would be happy to do so.
  • Good course, easy to follow.
  • The bespoke nature of the course and the overall delivery.
  • I particularly liked the experience of the trainer and relating to real life situations.
  • Great course, good use of slides and practical exercises.
  • I particularly liked the friendly relaxed attitude.
  • It was interactive with real life examples.
  • I loved the practical method and I love learning more about helping people.
  • I learned new things I am confident will come in handy one day and hopefully be able to help someone should the situation present itself.
  • Really happy with the content we covered.
  • A very good day, enjoyable and informative.

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