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Learn to save a life in Worthing

29 November 2010

A South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SECAmb) member of staff has vowed to spread the importance of people learning basic life support and organised a day-long event in Worthing this weekend for members of the public.

HR Manager and former front-line ambulance clinician Richard Williams has organised the event at Worthing Leisure Centre in Shaftesbury Avenue this Saturday, (4 December), following a recent emergency at the leisure centre when he had to perform life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation, (CPR).

People will have the opportunity to be taught basic life support by SECAmb clinicians and sessions will run for 45 minutes on the hour, every hour between 9am and 5pm.

Richard has set up ‘JB Save a Life’ – an awareness campaign – following the incident at the leisure centre on 14 October 2010 when local man Jon Burgess suffered a cardiac arrest.

Jon has now made a good recovery but Richard is concerned that while a number of people had gathered concerned around Jon by his arrival, no one had yet commenced CPR.

Richard was at the complex when his daughter alerted him to the emergency. He performed CPR which kept Jon oxygenated and his heart in a rhythm ready to receive a shock from a defibrillator, which was delivered by the ambulance crew who attended. The sports centre bartender, Scott Patterson, assisted by organising help and preparing for the ambulance’s arrival as well as controlling and moving bystanders away.

Richard said: “When I got to Jon, he was clinically dead, and although there were about 40 people about, some first aid trained, no one had committed to taking any action. Scott’s actions were extremely useful. It’s vital that CPR begins immediately for the best chance of survival. Everyone should take time to learn basic life support. You never know when you might be faced with a situation where someone needs your help. I’m really grateful the leisure centre has provided the venue for such a valuable cause.”

‘JB Save a Life’ was created to promote the importance of Basic Life Support and raise funds which will be used to provide additional life-saving equipment at venues where there is public access.

Richard said: “It’s my intention to provide automatic defibrillators and airway masks which can be essential when someone suffers a cardiac arrest. Each defibrillator costs approximately £1100 and from generous donations so far alone I have raised just over £1200 and a large amount of this from the trade union, Unison, for which I’m extremely grateful.”

To assist with the fundraising, Richard has opened a community bank account in the name of ‘JB Save a Life’ with Barclays Bank in Worthing. Anyone wishing to make a donation should use sort code 209874 and account number 83135608.

The training sessions this Saturday are free of charge but any donations are greatly appreciated. For more information please contact Richard Williams on 07767 441397

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