Quick actions ensure Alan is stayin’ alive

Alan Linton (39) was re-united last Tuesday with friends, members of the paramedic team, and the emergency call-taker who saved his life
Alan Linton (39) was re-united last Tuesday with friends, members of the paramedic team, and the emergency call-taker who saved his life
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A DAD who collapsed at the sixth hole on a local golf course heard how his life was saved, with the help of the Bee Gees’ hit, ‘Stayin’ Alive’.

Alan Linton (39) was re-united last Tuesday with friends, members of the paramedic team, and the emergency call-taker who saved his life, to hear a recording of the 999 call for the first time.

Husband and dad of two Mr Linton, was playing a round with friends at Charleton Golf Club, by Colinsburgh, when he collapsed as he made his way to the sixth hole on February 5.

At first his friends thought he was fooling around, pretending to fall over after a poorly played shot, but when one went to check on him, they quickly realised he wasn’t breathing.

Brian Henderson phoned 999 immediately, while Paul Pinkney, remembering instructions from the Vinnie Jones hard and fast advert, began CPR and Mr Linton’s soon-to-be brother in law kept his airways open.

In a recording of the emergency call Mr Pinkney can be heard telling the call taker he was doing the ‘Stayin’ alive thing’.

He said: “I’d seen the hard and fast advert a couple times. If it hadn’t been Vinnie Jones doing it I might have just said, yeah, whatever, but the advert stuck in my mind. I was doing the compressions to the beat of ‘staying alive’. We even started singing it.”

The emergency call-taker, guided the friends through the basic life saving steps of CPR, instructing Mr Pinkney to keep pushing hard and fast, saying “we’re going to be doing this 600 times or until help arrives.”

Paul described the effort as “knackering” but help was at hand, when Methil man, Peter Meldrum, who was playing golf when he heard Mr Linton’s friends shouting, stepped in to take over compressions until the paramedics arrived.

Paramedics arrived in 12 minutes and Alan was taken by helicopter to Ninewells Hospital for treatment.

Following the ordeal Mr Linton said although he had been a Bee Gees fan before their hit had taken on new significance.

He said “When I came home from hospital for some reason my wee girl was singing the song ‘Staying alive’, I think she must have heard it on the telly, and it just brought it home for me.

“The guys were doing compressions to the beat of that song, so it’s a major contribution to why I’m here today.”

He added: “I’m overwhelmed, not just by my friends but also the stranger who was playing behind us and came to help, the paramedic team, people I didn’t know. Listening back to the call made me realise what a team effort it was. I’ll feel indebted to them all for a long time.”

Looking back on the day itself, Mr Linton said everything had been fine until he started to feel dizzy as he walked to the sixth hole, then, when he went to get a club from his golf bag he collapsed completely.

He said: “Listening to the call it seems like it’s someone else, I still can’t believe it happened to me, but I feel great now.”

Following Alan’s recovery Paul said: “It feels amazing that we were able to save Alan’s life. It took us days and weeks to get over what happened. I had tears in my eyes while I was listening to the recording of the emergency call.”

Paramedic Alan McIntyre praised the life-saving quick actions of Alan’s friends.

He said: “Vinnie Jones gets the message across about how important quick action can be. In this case it saved a man with a wife and two wee kids. Seeing the way these guys rallied round their friend made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

“I’ve been in the ambulance service for 30 years and seeing this motivates for the next 10 to 15 years.”

Sign up to become a local lifesaver

YOU can become a local lifesaver by getting trained in emergency life support.

Local Heart Start co-ordinator and paramedic Alan McIntyre teaches Emergency Life Support courses in the Levenmouth area which include learning full CPR as well as other skills, such as how to deal with heavy bleeding, choking and heart attacks. For details contact Alan MacIntyre on 01592 580 500 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 about how to get involved contact the Skeith Health Centre in Cellardyke.

A simple way to save a life...

IT’S estimated 30,000 people go into cardiac arrest outside of hospital every year but less than 10 percent survive to leave hospital.

The British Heart Foundation hopes the ‘hard and fast’ campaign will save lives by teaching hands-only CPR.

So how is it done?

While the British Heart Foundation says CPR with breaths should remain the ‘gold standard’ if someone is untrained or feels unsure hands-only CPR still increases the casualty’s chances of survival.

To do hands-only CPR push hard, by compressing the chest to a depth of five to six centimetres, and fast, by doing roughly 100-120 compressions a minute, to the beat of ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by the Bee Gees.

Rescuers should continue to do compressions until help arrives or until they become too exhausted to continue. Ideally, rescuers should swap every minute or two to prevent tiredness. For more details visit http://www.bhf.org.uk.