As a shift manager in the Group Port Control Room at the Port of Liverpool, Andy Forshaw expected his first aid training would most likely be used at work. Even with excellent health and safety measures in place, the presence of vehicles and heavy machinery, combined with hundreds of workers, means incidents are possible at any port.
Earlier this year, Andy did find himself using his life-saving knowledge…but on the golf course.
An avid golfer, he was playing in an evening competition in May at his club, Grange Park in St. Helens. Approaching the second tee, Andy noticed something odd about the two players in front of him, with one lying on the ground and the other stood next to him on his mobile phone.
Andy picks up the story: “As soon as I realised something was seriously wrong I ran to their position. I found that the player who was ill – Brian – had a deep purple complexion. He wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. So I started CPR straight away, continuing until the paramedics arrived. Following the third shock from the paramedic’s defibrillator, Brian’s heart restarted.”
The incident was all the more traumatic for the fact that Brian’s wife was playing on the same course at the time and as a result witnessed nearly the whole situation.
Brian was transported to critical care in Broadgreen hospital. A week after admittance he had heart bypass surgery, returning home in June, where he has made a complete recovery.
Andy says that the incident really brought home to him the importance of mobile phones and defibrillators in being able to raise the alarm and save lives. He also highlights the critical value of knowing the right CPR technique, with constant compressions to recirculate oxygen already in the bloodstream, complemented by only occasional ‘rescue breaths’.
This isn’t the only occasion that Andy has been involved in providing emergency aid, although it was the first time he helped someone on his own for a prolonged period. He concludes: “Even when it’s a success story and you’ve done this before, incidents like these do have an impact on those involved. Having support available is really important, especially when it’s a colleague or someone even closer such as a friend or family member.”
Ron Hunter, Health and Safety Director at Peel Ports, added: “We provide a wide range of training to our staff through the Safety365 initiative that we have in the company. Competency in first aid is a very important part of that for many of our team. Obviously, we make every effort to avoid their skills having to be used, but it’s much better to be prepared. And, as Andy’s example shows, you never know when you might be called on to save a life.”
For more information on Safety365 click HERE.
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