Volunteers save life at Boxing Day football match

Members on duty at a football match

A football fan’s life was saved by the quick actions of St John Ambulance volunteers at the Boxing Day football match at Villa Park.

During the match against Aston Villa and Arsenal, a man in his 50’s collapsed. St John Ambulance volunteers on duty at the ground were called to the gentleman and arrived very shortly after.

Duty Manager Adam Williams said 'as soon as we arrived we found we couldn’t get a response from the gentleman and established he was not breathing and his heart was not beating. We immediately started Cardio-pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), a defibrillator was attached and was used to shock the man’s heart.'

'Shortly after the first shock the gentleman started breathing again and the patient was taken by ambulance, with a paramedic and doctor on board, to City Hospital in Birmingham who had been pre-alerted to the patient’s arrival and serious condition. The gentleman was sitting up talking shortly after his arrival at hospital'

Paul Bytheway, St John Ambulance Commissioner for Operations in the West Midlands, said: 'In cases where someone has a cardiac arrest – where the heart has stopped beating completely – time is of the essence. The quick actions of the volunteers, and the availability of a defibrillator saved the man’s life. Early indications are that the gentleman is recovering well which is very pleasing news for all involved'

St John Ambulance provides first aid and ambulance cover at all football matches at Villa Park.