Cardiac Arrest Survivor Visit – Chris Solomons
Last month we were delighted to welcome cardiac arrest survivor Chris Solomons to our Glasgow training centre to share his story with candidates and staff.
As an emergency medical dispatcher for Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Chris had answered countless calls for help from people who’d witnessed someone collapse in sudden cardiac arrest. However, whilst driving to work on the 23rd of July 2010 Chris suffered a heart attack, and shortly after went into cardiac arrest moments after entering his workplace. His colleagues handled the situation calmly thanks to their First Aid skills and were able to treat Chris’s initial symptoms determining what was happening and then revive him with an AED.
At the time of his collapse, the BBC had been filming Chris and his colleagues for a programme called Helicopter Heroes and kept the camera rolling as Chris entered the office that day. Chris’s experience is unique as it is the only video footage of these life-saving skills in action from initial chest pains through to complete cardiac arrest and then, revival. As a cardiac arrest survivor, Chris encourages the footage to be used to educate and inspire others to train in First Aid.
When visiting our Glasgow centre, Chris was able to engage with and inspire candidates undertaking our First Aid at Work course – where this footage is used to demonstrate a real life situation in which First Aid is vital. After a few shocked seconds of realisation candidates jumped at the chance to ask about the warning signs, correct methods and life after cardiac arrest.
Now an advocate for First Aid training, Chris – who now refers to the 23rd of July as his re-birthday – has also travelled as far as Los Angeles to inspire as many people as possible to invest in First Aid and potentially save a life.
St Andrew’s First Aid Training and Supplies ltd shares this ethos and we are proud to present Chris Solomons as the new charity ambassador for our charity St Andrew’s First Aid.