Humble. What does it mean? For me it's the feeling I get when, as a CFR I am called to help someone who, for many and varied reasons, is in need of the services of SECAMB.
As a CFR I am trained to carry out immediate life support prior to the arrival of a Paramedic. The most serious of these incidents is cardiac arrest.
Just recently I was called to two consecutive cases on the same day where both patients had suffered a cardiac arrest. When I arrived at the first one a team of Paramedics were already on scene and carrying out Advanced Life Support. I was immediately asked to assist them up to the point when the patient was in the ambulance and on way to hospital. This was a successful outcome as the patient, who was NOT breathing, then started to breathe. Without the intervention of The Ambulance Service the outcome could (and almost certainly would) have been very different.
The second call followed immediately. By that I mean IMMEDIATELY, and I arrived just ahead of the first Paramedic. In this instance a shopper who was an off-duty nurse saw this patient collapse and had commenced CPR. I joined in to relieve the nurse as did the other members of the team. As a team we all worked together, assisted with patient assessment and continued with the CPR and applied the pads of a defibrillator. Within a few minutes even more crew members arrived. After a short while this patient started breathing and was then taken to hospital. The patient was later reported as sitting up in bed and chatting.
Why humble? For me to be there when another human being is in need of help and I have the training and equipment to give that help - and to be included in the SECAMB Ambulance team that helps promote a patient’s recovery is both a privilege and a humbling experience. In this second case a bystander knew what to do and this substantially increased the chance of survival.
To have two calls, (where the patients have actually stopped breathing), so close together and both with successful outcomes is really unusual. But then as an emergency service, there is nothing that is usual. Everything happens at random times in random places, and what this demonstrates the fantastic service that The Ambulance Service and the NHS offer.
If you would like to learn about Emergency Life Support? If you would like to know what to do in this type of emergency? Our colleagues can show you the simple skills that can save lives, please get in touch with us and enrol on a Heartstart Course, it’s FREE and may be the best 2 and a half hours you will spend? See heartstarteastbourne.co.uk
Maybe you will experience the humbling effect it had on me?
An Ambulance Community First Responder.