On-call Essex community first responder thanks paramedics for rushing him to hospital after suffering a heart attack
- Credit: Archant
A community first responder (CFR) who was on duty when he started having a heart attack has thanked ambulance staff for helping to save his life.
Chris Flack has been attending medical emergencies and caring for patients in his village of Good Easter, near Leaden Roding, for 13 years.
But on June 11 this year, while the volunteer responder was on-call, Mr Flack started to experience chest pains and breathlessness.
Knowing he was having a heart attack, Mr Flack urged his wife Sue to get the oxygen from his CFR bag, as well as the defibrillator just in case he went into cardiac arrest.
Thankfully, paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service arrived soon after, and within an hour had delivered him to hospital where he underwent surgery for a damaged artery.
This week, Mr Flack was reunited with call handler Shaun Carroll, and staff who attended the scene – Adam Rodwell and Tracy Maasz.
He said: “When the chips are down the NHS is an amazing organisation from the call handler to the crew arriving on scene to our leading cardiac hospital and the procedure being carried out.
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“We have an outstanding NHS and as far as I am concerned these people do an outstanding job in sometimes very difficult circumstances.
“When Sue looked out of the window and said the crew are here, you will never know the reassurance I felt because I knew I was in the best hands.”
CFRs are trained by the ambulance service to attend life-threatening medical emergencies, such as cardiac arrests, patients with chest pain or breathing difficulties, allergic reactions and diabetic emergencies.
The role is voluntary, and there are more than 80 CFR groups in Essex alone.
The East of England Ambulance Service is currently searching for more CFRs to join its team, and says people must be physically fit and between 18 and 70-years-old to apply.
Prospective volunteers must also have a sympathetic, caring nature and hold a full driving licence with access to a car.
To find out more, call 0345 6013733 or 01603 481220 out of hours, or visit eastamb.nhs.uk/join-the-team/community-first-responders.