“I knew I was in the best hands” – community first responder thanks his lifesavers
Date: 11 August 2017
A community first responder (CFR) had an emotional reunion with ambulance staff who helped save his life.
For 13 years Chris Flack has been attending medical emergencies and helping patients in his home village.
The CFR quickly realised he needed emergency help on 11th June (2017) when he started experiencing chest pain and breathlessness.
Ironically, the volunteer was on-call as a first responder for Good Easter CFR group when he started having a heart attack at home.
Chris, who also fundraises for Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, urged his wife Sue to get the oxygen from his CFR kit bag and the defibrillator in case he went into cardiac arrest before the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) staff arrived.
Within an hour of calling 999 he was having a stent fitted at Basildon and Thurrock Hospital to repair a damaged artery.
Chris was this week (9th August) reunited with Call Handler Shaun Carroll, Student Paramedic Adam Rodwell and Emergency Care Assistant Tracy Maasz at the official opening of the new Chelmsford Ambulance Station where he shared his story.
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. 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, chokings, allergic reactions and diabetic emergencies.
For more information about becoming a CFR, visit http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/join-the-team/community-first-responders
Chris reunited with lifesavers two months after heart attack