Ambulance service thanks lifesaving heroes

Oct 3, 2023 | Members e-Bulletin, News, Stakeholder eBulletin

Three members of the public have been awarded certificates of commendation from South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) for the part they played in helping to save the life of a 29-year-old man who suffered a cardiac arrest at Liphook Services, Hampshire, in April.

McDonalds Shift Manager Tiegan Gummery, 22,Trainee Shift Manager Luca Robinson, 18 and off duty radiographer, Calum Ross were at the services on the A3 when the 29-year-old man pulled off the A3 having felt unwell whilst driving. He then suffered a cardiac arrest in the car park. At that point, Tiegan, Luca and Calum all leapt into action dialling 999 for help whilst also carrying out CPR (chest compressions) on the patient until responders from SCAS, Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance arrived.

The first ambulance service personnel to arrive were from the SCAS BASICS Volunteer Enhanced Care Team and included Jack Ansell, Operational Lead for SCAS BASICS.

Jack said: “When we arrived at the scene, we were faced with a young man whose heart had stopped beating but was being kept alive by the efforts of Luca, Callum and Tiegan, along with colleagues from both the fire and rescue, and police services.

“We know that less than one in ten people survive these events and the initial efforts of the three bystanders absolutely contributed to this positive outcome. If they hadn’t acted as they did, it’s likely the patient wouldn’t have survived and by everyone working together as a team, we got the result we all hoped for.”

The patient was stabilised at the scene before being flown to University Hospital Southampton. Following a short stay in hospital, he was discharged home with good prospects for making a full recovery. In August, the three members of the public received a formal thank you and certificate of commendation from SCAS, presented to them by Vanessa Casey, SCAS Charity CEO, Nicola Dunbar, Head of Community Engagement & Training and Jack Ansell, SCAS BASICS Operational Lead.

Mark Schweizer, Franchisee of the McDonalds restaurant at Liphook Services, said:

“When I heard about what happened I was bursting with pride at the unbelievable courage of my team. Their quick thinking and prompt actions helped save a life that day, and I couldn’t be prouder. In addition, I’d like to thank Jack Ansell, his colleagues and the fire department who were also present in saving this man’s life, and all they do in keeping all of our lives safe.”

As a result of this emergency, McDonalds has kindly donated a defibrillator which will now be permanently available at Liphook Services. The new defibrillator will be registered with The Circuit, the national defibrillator network, which ensures ambulance services can search, find and direct people to a nearby defibrillator if available, when someone calls 999 reporting a patient in cardiac arrest.

Vanessa Casey, South Central Ambulance Service Charity Chief Executive, said: “Our volunteer BASICS team attend the most seriously ill and injured patients and their ability to stabilise this patient was due to the initial actions of Luca, Callum and Tiegan.

“As a charity, we are delighted to be able to support the SCAS BASICS team with funding for equipment, and they can only provide this level of enhanced emergency care thanks to the generous donations from the public. We owe a huge debt to all our supporters for enabling us to save more lives.”

Less than one in ten people in the UK survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Two of the biggest factors contributing to this low number are that there aren’t enough people prepared to perform CPR when someone has a cardiac arrest, and that there aren’t enough defibrillators available across the UK.

In the last 12 months where data is available, emergency responders from South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) began CPR on 2,603 patients who had a witnessed cardiac arrest; 225 of those (8.6%) survived[1].

Only just over half the people in the UK say they would be able to perform CPR if a loved one had a cardiac arrest in front of them. This is despite the fact that 80 per cent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in the home[2].

The South Central Ambulance Charity offers training and support for businesses, organisations and community groups to learn CPR or refresh their skills.

[1] Source: NHS England. Ambulance Clinical Outcomes April 2022-March 2023. Survival at 30 days after cardiac arrest.
[2] Source: British Heart Foundation press release, 1 February 2023 Only half of UK adults confident they could perform CPR on a loved one


Notes for editors:

  • South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) provides a range of emergency, urgent care and non-emergency healthcare services, along with commercial logistics services, to the populations of the South Central region – Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire – as well as non-emergency patient transport services in Surrey and Sussex.
  • SCAS now serves a population of seven million people across the six counties and employs more than 4,600 staff who, together with over 1,000 volunteer community and co-responders, enable the organisation to attend more than 508,000 incidents via 999, handle 1.3 million calls to NHS 111 and make 970,000 patient transport service journeys every year (all data from 2022/23).
  • SCAS is a foundation trust, which means it has thousands of members and a Council of Governors which form an integral part of the governance structure of the Trust. Being a foundation trust means there are more opportunities for patients and their families, staff and local residents to play a part in the future of the organisation by becoming members. Find out more here.
  • South Central Ambulance Charity raises funds to support SCAS. All the money raised by the Charity is used to enhance services, projects and equipment across the Trust. The Charity works across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire, as well as supporting patient transport services in Surrey and Sussex. Find out more here.

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