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Archie Orr-Ewing, proprietor of the award-winning Swan Inn at Swinbrook, received a visit on Monday, 21 May, from SCAS Paramedic, Ryan Scott. Ryan returned to the pub to present Archie with a special commendation following his life-saving intervention earlier this month.

Ryan was the first responder at The Swan Inn on 3 May when SCAS received a 999 call to say that a diner had started choking, then stopped breathing and gone into cardiac arrest.

“On my arrival”, recalls Ryan, “the patient had a pulse and was breathing for herself. I was informed that with the patient turning blue and being unresponsive, Archie had carried out a Heimlich manoeuvre which cleared the blockage and allowed the lady to start breathing again. Without Archie’s actions, I am certain this incident would have had a very different outcome for the patient.”

As the 999 call was a category 1 life-threatening emergency, an ambulance crew and the Thames Valley Air Ambulance helicopter soon arrived after Ryan. After assessment and treatment from the team, by the time the patient was on her way to hospital in the back of the ambulance, she was talking and improving with every minute.

Archie and his wife Nicola have been successfully running The King’s Head in Bledington since 2000 and The Swan Inn since 2006. They had always ensured that they and all their staff were first aid trained and had regular refresher courses.

Archie adds: “This was the first time in 18 years in the business that anything like this had happened in our pubs. It was a traumatic incident, and I can understand why some people might freeze in similar circumstances or be afraid they might make things worse. I hope this encourages more people to get first aid training because having that bit of knowledge certainly gave me the confidence to do something. I must say I was still very pleased to see Ryan when he arrived – and the whole response from the ambulance service on the day was fantastic!”

Ryan presented Archie with a letter of commendation from Director of Operations at South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Mark Ainsworth, thanking Archie for his assistance and adding:

“It is encouraging to know that there are members of the public who are happy to assist and support my crews when situations such as this arrive.”

The day after the incident, the customer was well enough to phone Archie and pass on her heartfelt gratitude personally.

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