Medical dispatcher saved by defibrillator donates AED to local college

HeartSine AED donation to Minsthorpe Community College

Joy Taggart, HeartSine Global Inside Sales Manager, joins Chris Solomons and wife Pam at the handover of AED

An emergency medical dispatcher whose life was saved by his own colleagues using a defibrillator, has donated a life-saving HeartSine Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to his wife’s local school in England.

Chris Solomons, who works for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, suffered Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) while on assignment to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance in 2010. He was being filmed by a BBC camera crew who were recording “Helicopter Heroes” at the charity’s Leeds-Bradford base at the time.

He was saved by two paramedics on his very own team.

Chris has handed over the defibrillator, which his wife Pam won at a recent Emergency Fire and Safety conference in Northern Ireland after being donated through HeartSine’s sponsorship of the event, to Minsthorpe Community College in South Elmsall.

Chris explains why this school was chosen to receive the defibrillator:

“Minsthorpe Community College is my wife’s local school and the school that she attended. Today, my wife would have been without a husband had it not been for a defibrillator.

“Sudden Cardiac Arrest is not something that just happens to older, overweight people, as many may well think. SCA can happen to anyone at any time, including children, so it’s important our schools are protected.

“I was speaking at a workplace safety conference in Belfast in August about my save and the significance of defibrillators, when my wife unexpectedly won the business card draw for the HeartSine-donated AED!

“We laughed at the time, but it allowed us to be in the remarkable position of providing the school with the defibrillator which we know will be invaluable to the college in protecting, and perhaps saving the lives of pupils, staff, parents or visitors in the future.”

Joy Taggart, Global Inside Sales Manager at HeartSine Technologies, who joined Chris at the handover to Minsthorpe School, said:

“Chris is the perfect example of why it is vital to have immediate access to defibrillators. He was extremely fortunate in that he worked with paramedics who had the life-saving equipment at hand, but thousands of others are not so lucky around the UK each and every year.

“In fact, about 270 people are killed every single day in the United Kingdom by Sudden Cardiac Arrest and it can happen to even the fittest of people, young or old.

“We are delighted that our donation of a defibrillator is going to a large school in West Yorkshire and the ease of use means that it can be used by anyone, with little or no training, which will perhaps save a life at the school in the future.”

Situated in West Yorkshire, Minsthorpe Community College has 1850 full-time students and over 300 staff.

Chris Solomons’ save was caught on camera and the video has been viewed over 234,000 thousand times on Youtube.

View HeartSine’s Emergency Fire and Safety conference video.

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