Last week Nicholas Jones went to what he describes as his most rewarding job – helping to save the life of a young mother who had gone into cardiac arrest.
Nicholas is not only a CFR but also works for the Trust as Business Support Manager and Performance Lead for the control rooms and he talks about what drew him to volunteering for the Trust too.
“It was Thursday evening last week when I was called to a woman who was having breathing difficulties and then went into cardiac arrest. I oxygenated her while the crew shocked her and gave her the necessary medication. By the time I went to leave scene she was awake and talking. But it wasn’t just about helping the patient, her son, aged around eight or nine, and husband were on scene and it meant calming and consoling them too.
“I went away feeling I really had contributed something very important that day. It was an incredibly satisfying feeling knowing I had helped make the difference between life and death for that woman – and for her family.
“In 2005 I joined the ambulance service as an emergency call handler. I have taken on varying roles before my current position. Last year I decided that I wanted to help patients when I was not at work. I wanted to see the other side of the coin so I gave up a weekend and completed a CFR course.
“I received my first call just hours after qualifying, my first ever patient was not time critical, much to my joy, and was taken home. Minutes later my second ever patient was a different story; this patient was time critical. I can remember working as hard as I could with the skills taught to me to support the patient and keep her as stable as possible until the crew got to scene – I have never been so pleased to see that ambulance crew!
“I have responded to more than 100 emergencies in the past six months. Some patients have needed no intervention, just a listening ear and words of support. Others have needed intervention and support to keep them stable.
“But others still have needed a lot of intervention and CPR. In total I have been to eight cardiac arrests as well as collapses, allergic reactions, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, falls and serious bleeding.
“Some nights as a CFR are very quiet and I may not even receive a call, however others can be really busy – sometimes it isn’t worth getting ready for bed… actually sometimes there is no point in going to bed – you just make sure you get the sleep where you can!
“The most important thing to me is that working as a CFR I know that I can make a difference. Often the difference is not saving the patient’s life, but supporting and stabilising them in the best way possible until a Trust clinician can take over.
“But don’t get me wrong, we are there to save lives and we can make a massive difference. I would not give up responding because I know that I can make that difference.”