East Durham volunteers save five people in matter of weeks

First responder trio congratulated after busy period

Three NEAS first responders have had a remarkable few months in the East Durham area.

Ian Garrett, Grant Holland and Stephen Gowland raced to the scene of five separate incidents over the last few weeks, and successfully resuscitated patients.

Grant (centre of photo), who is NEAS's Community Resusciation Training Officer, said: "It's really quite amazing, and as far as I'm aware a first. To my knowledge we have never had this many resuscitations with first reponders in one area, in such a small space of time.

"The guys have done a fantastic job.They are extremely professional about what they do, and have performed brilliantly." 

Grant himself was praised for his swift and expert actions, after saving a 73-year-old cardiac arrest patient in Thornley.

Grant  was at home in February at 6:05pm when he was asked to respond to an emergency call at St Chad Square, where a woman had reported chest pain and a shortness of breath.

He reached the scene just three minutes later at 6:08pm.

On arrival the lady was responsive and presenting with central chest pain.

After a few minutes she stopped breathing and Grant contacted NEAS control to upgrade the call to R1 cardiac arrest, then started CPR.

After two shocks from the defibrillator, he managed to resuscitate the lady before the Fishburn ambulance crew arrived, followed closely by the Bishop rapid response paramedic .

The woman was still in a critical condition, and was blue-lighted to James Cook University Hospital with two paramedics.

The Fishburn crew passed on their thanks to Grant for his quick arrival and good work.

Grant said: "The lady in question is a lovely lady and I have been called to her house a number of times for chest pain. This time however when things went wrong, I was just in the right place at the right time, with the right equipment.

"I was over the moon when she started to breathe on her own following the  second shock from the AED, but still needed oxygen and airway management, She soon managed to maintain this on her own some minutes afterwards with some assistance.

"I have to thank Mark Rushton in the control room, the Fishburn crew and the Bishop rapid response who backed me up, for the kind comments and whose effort and skill made sure that the full chain of survival was maintained, allowing the best possible outcome.

"I was so very pleased to find out later that she was discharged from hospital within a week and is looking forward to seeing her son in the Isle of Man, which makes everything worthwhile and shows that we are making a difference in our community, which is why we do it."

Lynsey McCabe, Community Resuscitations Manager, said: "This was an excellent example of the chain of survival where all the components and people come together to ultimately save a person's life. Everyone involved played a part in this lady's survival.

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