Heart attack policeman is reunited with life savers
Paul Edington, a London policeman, has
been reunited with the people who saved his life after he suffered
a cardiac arrest. Now recovering at his home in
Epping, he is keen to spread the word about the need for more
local people to become Community First Responders (CFRs) so
more lives can be saved.
Paul, 41, was resuscitated by the five-strong team from St John
Ambulance and the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) after
he collapsed at home on the evening of 30 December.
Two St John Ambulance Community First
Responders and three East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST)
paramedics used an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to
deliver an electric shock to his heart when he fell unconscious and
Several hours before his heart attack, Paul began
experiencing severe aching in both arms but
dismissed it as nothing serious. As he was serving a meal
to his family that evening, the pains worsened and he began to
feel hot and extremely unwell.
He recalls: ‘I went outside to get some air and a neighbour took
one look at me and dialled 999.’
The neighbour’s call meant St John Ambulance CFRs John Newman
and his wife Sandra, who live nearby, were at the scene
within minutes. They were closely followed by East of
England Ambulance Service NHS Trust paramedic Nigel Vince who
called his control room to request an ambulance.
By the time Paul suffered a full cardiac arrest, the ambulance
and two more EEAST paramedics had arrived.
'I couldn't have been in better hands when I
‘If they hadn't got to me as quickly as they did and used the
AED then I wouldn't be here now. I owe them my life,’ says
Paul, who enjoyed keeping fit and had no history of heart problems
before his collapse.’
Community First Responders
CFRs are trained by St John Ambulance to attend emergency calls
in the area where they live, work or study. They are dispatched at
the same time as the ambulance to life or death emergencies in
their neighbourhood and are equipped so they can provide
life saving emergency aid in the first few vital minutes
before a paramedic arrives.
John Newman, who is Head of Emergency Operations for St John
Ambulance says: ‘Paul's case is a perfect example of how
we're able to save lives in local communities
through great team working between CFRs and the NHS ambulance
Volunteer with St John Ambulance
Find out more about becoming a CFR in