Learn to save a life

Pictured, from left,  Alan McIntyre Heartstart East Fife Breath of Life Medical Director; Gordon Christie, Paramedic, and Donna Hendry Paramedic, Team Leader from Dunfermline station. Donna is also Training Supervisor with Heartstart East Fife breath of Life. The photo also includes Gordon's daughter, Marcey.
Pictured, from left, Alan McIntyre Heartstart East Fife Breath of Life Medical Director; Gordon Christie, Paramedic, and Donna Hendry Paramedic, Team Leader from Dunfermline station. Donna is also Training Supervisor with Heartstart East Fife breath of Life. The photo also includes Gordon's daughter, Marcey.

ATHLETIC ambulance personnel are taking a quick step towards telling people all about a technique which saves lives.

Members of the Heartstart East Fife Breath of Life team have taken part recently in running events to raise awareness of ‘hands only’ CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) – the method made famous by a series of TV adverts featuring footballer-turned actor Vinnie Jones.

Leven-based paramedic team leader and Breath medical director, Alan MacIntyre, took part in Sunday’s London BUPA 10K, while he and two colleagues – appropriately clad in their Vinnie Jones t-shirts – also participated in the Black Rock 5 at Kinghorn.

The dedicated medical staff hope that, by taking part in these very public events, they can promote the basic skills, as illustrated by the televison campaign, and perhaps encourage more people to sign up for a course which could make them a potential life-saver.

The project also received a huge boost earlier this year when 39-year-old Alan Linton was revived after he collapsed with a cardiac arrest while playing golf at Charleton, near Colinsburgh.

His friends remembered the steps they had seen on the advert and received advice from the emergency call taker, before medical staff arrived to take Mr Linton to hospital.

A special event was held a few weeks later at Leven ambulance station, where Mr Linton was reunited with the friends and medical professionals who had prevented his death.

Alan McIntyre said the local crew was still very active in the community in teaching CPR through East Fife Heartstart Breath of Life.

“Hopefully, we may again increase the chances of saving another life in the Levenmouth and other areas,” he told the Mail.

“We are still trying to get members of the public to learn these skills and, as we know, when it works, lives can be saved.

“The Vinnie Jones campaign is much easier to promote, as we are mainly trying to give people a taste of how easy it is to learn these simple skills and directing them to the BHF website to watch a short film.

“Then, perhaps, they may be inspired to learn more.”

Before Alan’s racing engagement in London at the weekend, he and two other paramedics from Leven station tackled the Kinghorn Black Rock 5 to promote the crusade.

“The race included a run up and down the hilly coast of Kinghorn, then out on to the sandy beach and around the black rock, which is exposed when the tide is fully out,” he said.

“The race finished at the local Ship Tavern – there were 860 participants and large crowds.”

The television advert can be viewed on bhf.org.uk/handsonlyCPR.

Anyone interested in the full two-hour course can contact Alan McIntyre on 01592 580500.

He and his colleagues also offer training in other forms of emergency life support.

Courses in the Levenmouth area, as well as learning full CPR, include how to deal with heavy bleeding, choking and heart attacks.

For details, contact Alan on the above number or email alanmcintyre@nhs.net.

The Red Cross, Fife, Lothian and Borders branch also runs first aid training. For details about courses near you, phone 0131 338 5700.

Or join the East Neuk First Responders, a group of local volunteers trained to respond to emergency calls and provide care before ambulance services arrive.

For details, contact the Skeith Health Centre in Cellardyke.