Off duty volunteers save football fan's life

Member driving ambulance

A Derby County football fan is recovering after two off duty St John Ambulance volunteers saved his life when he collapsed after a match.

The St John crew successfully used their defibrillator to keep the patient alive before handing over to hospital staff.

Ian Martin, 35, unit leader of St John Ambulance City of Derby Transport Division and a health care professional, joined by fellow volunteer Clare Battelle, 23, had finished duties at the match when they were alerted to the football fan who had collapsed on his way home.

In the event of sudden cardiac arrest it is early access to defibrillation that saves lives and if people are able to provide immediate care to patients until paramedic crews arrive, the chances of survival are increased ten fold. Without our presence, first aid knowledge and equipment this man may well have died.

Ian Martin
Unit leader of City of Derby transport division and health care professional

They arrived to find a man in his 50's initially breathing, who quickly went into cardiac arrest. Wasting no time they delivered a shock with their defibrillator and put him on a trolley stretcher and got him into the back of their ambulance - out of public sight. They commenced with CPR until the East Midlands Ambulance Team arrived. They got a return of circulation and breathing and the patient was then taken to DRI intensive care under police escort.

Ian said: "I visited the patient a couple of times in hospital afterwards but he didnt fully understand what had happened to him and that his heart had actually stopped.

"In the event of sudden cardiac arrest it is early access to defibrillation that saves lives and if people are able to provide immediate care to patients until paramedic crews arrive, the chances of survival are increased ten fold. Without our presence, first aid knowledge and equipment this man may well have died."