Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Coggeshall firefighters help save man's life

Firefighters in Essex helped to save the life of a 61 year old man after he suffered a cardiac arrest at his home in Coggeshall on Thursday 1 December.

Three crew members from Coggeshall Fire Station, Paul Adams, Gavin Ellis and Graham Byford, attended the incident as part of their co-responding role.

They arrived at the home of Stephen Young within minutes, and found that he did not have a pulse and was not breathing. Stephen’s son was already performing CPR, and so the crews took over compressions until the Ambulance Service arrived.

Thankfully, the team managed to get Stephen’s heart beating again and after spending a couple of weeks in hospital receiving treatment, Stephen was able to go home in time for Christmas.

Stephen’s wife, Elizabeth Young, said:

“I am so grateful to the firefighters and everyone from the Ambulance Service that came on that day to help my husband. It was such a scary situation for our son to be in, so to have three trained firefighters to turn up within minutes of the 999 call was absolutely amazing.

“I didn’t know that the firefighters at Coggeshall Fire Station also come out to cardiac arrests, but I am so pleased they do. It’s a fantastic community resource and I am sure their help will go on to help save the life of many other people.

Watch Manager Paul Adams from Coggeshall Fire Station said:

“We are so pleased that Stephen is making such a good recovery. We train for incidents like this, and I am so proud that we were able to make a difference.

“When we arrived at Stephen’s house, his son was performing CPR with the help of the Ambulance Service who stayed on the phone to him. He should be very proud of himself as this is a very scary situation to be in, but his efforts absolutely gave his dad the best chance of survival.

“Within minutes of us arriving, we were joined by HART and HEMS doctors and paramedics. Stephen had the best possible care at the time he needed it and we are so proud to be part of this team.”

Sarah Ford, HART Paramedic said:

“Without their fast response, followed by the East of England Ambulance Service, we may have had a completely different outcome for this gentleman. Having the fire station as co-responders is an absolute asset for the local community”.

Wendy Risdale-Barrs, Blue Light Collaboration Regional Lead said:

“The co responding scheme is a fantastic operation, one which is extremely beneficial to the people of Essex. This case highlights the importance and effectiveness of a collaborative approach which can ultimately save lives.”

Firefighters in Essex have attended more than 130 cardiac arrests since the launch of the Co-Responder scheme in May 2016.

Under the scheme, crews at six fire stations across Essex attend the most serious cardiac arrest calls to give potentially life-saving chest compressions and use a defibrillator on the patient while ambulance crews are on the way. An Ambulance crew is always sent to the scene but having trained crews on the ground to deliver expert medical care immediately could improve the patients’ chance of survival.

Crews from Newport, Ongar, Coggeshall, Frinton Colchester and Basildon are currently part of the scheme which is being trialled until February 2017.


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