Team work saves teenager Emmerson’s life

Team work saves teenager Emmerson’s life

FOR seventeen-year-old Emmerson Hird from Easington Colliery, Wednesday June 6th started off as a normal day - but things were about to change dramatically.

Emmerson, who hadn't had any need to go to the doctors for years, stood up but suddenly collapsed. Girlfriend Micha thought he was joking,but then realised it was serious.

Micha called to Emmerson's brother Michael who immediately called 999. The advice from the call handler was to get him off the bed onto a hard surface and do chest compressions.

Emmerson's brother was shouting into the street for help.  Luckily, people heard and one person in particular, John Wood, a local resident, came into the house, followed by Kevin and Fiona Kell. Kevin took Emmerson's pulse and John started CPR straightway.

A couple of other residents came into help but very soon the local volunteer Community first responder from North East Ambulance Service arrived and took over the CPR(Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) with assistance from John.

Community First Responder Ian Garrett has been volunteering in this role for eleven years. He said he had been having a quiet day, before receiving a call from the ambulance contact centre saying they had a cardiac arrest/not breathing emergency. Luckily, Ian knew the address.

Ian explained: "In the car, I worked out the quickest route while going through what I needed to ask and do. I did wonder if this was a false alarm".

Ian pulled up at the house and he noticed that there was someone running up and down the street, and it was then that he realised that this wasn't a false alarm.

"I recall someone shouting  'he is in here, he is 17'" Ian thought 'Have I misheard that?' Ian gathered his equipment and went into the house and up the stairs, and noticed CPR was in progress (compression only) . Seeing the patient, Ian thought: "Goodness he ONLY 17".

Ian went on to explain, "I asked John Wood, Emmerson's neighbour who was performing CPR to carry on so I could get together the equipment I needed to help him further." Ian placed the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) pads onto Emmerson's chest.

"The AED started to analyse Emmerson's heart so I took the opportunity to assemble the rest of the equipment I required, such as oxygen.  The AED advised a shock to the patient's heart was required.  Having delivered the shock, I continued with  CPR, then the door opened and the police came in.   PC's Lucy Oxley, Mark Wearmouth and Terry Hill had come from their office near the house and offered their help.

"I gave them some gloves and they assisted with the CPR. The ambulance crew arrive and within another minute, a second crew arrived and its all hands to the pumps.

"The crew begin to deliver advanced life support and I continue to support them by carrying out CPR.

The ambulance crew, Ian, the police and John got Emmerson stable enough to travel to hospital. Ian travelled to hospital with Emmerson to assist the crew.

Ian said: "The Paramedic started to get an output from Emmerson and his pulse got stronger and stronger. As we pull into hospital, the Paramedic advised he had both a pulse and a good blood pressure. Is this going to be a good outcome? I hope so."

Ian Garrett, Community First Responder for NEAS said: "It is so wonderful to be able to be involved in saving someone's life. When I arrived at the home and saw someone already doing CPR the training I received certainly kicked in.

"En route to hospital I just kept thinking 'come on lad, you can do it' and when Emmerson was handed over to the hospital I felt that the past 11 years of training was well worth it."

"The feeling when I found out Emmerson had survived was amazing, I feel so proud to be part of a team that has saved someone's life. That feeling is the best in the world."

PC Lucy Oxley from Durham Constabulary said: "This was a unique set of circumstances, where members of the public and emergency services have worked together, to quickly assist the family of Emmerson in his resuscitation after a cardiac arrest, which was all the more shocking due to his young age."

Lynsey McCabe, Community Resuscitation Manager for NEAS said: "This is an excellent example of the chain of survival where all the components and people come together to ultimately save a person's life and thankfully this is the case with Emmerson. Without the help of the Emergency Call Taker, Emmerson's neighbour John, the First Responder, Ian, and the support of the police and the ambulance crew, things could have been very different. It is so wonderful to hear that Emmerson is on the road to recovery."

Emmerson is now recovering in hospital and said: "I am so grateful for all the help and support I have received from all of those who ultimately saved my life. All of the staff at the Sunderland Royal Hospital especially those on Ward D41, ICCU and cardiology, they have all be amazing.

"I feel I'm the luckiest teenager alive."

Share this page

Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

Back to top

Enable Recite