A LOCAL man feels lucky to be alive after the quick thinking and first aid skills of a Gainsborough Town Councillor.
Edward ‘Ted’ Smith, from Limetree Avenue, Gainsborough, was riding his bike home from town when he had a heart attack.
Luckily, Coun Mark Binns was passing nearby on his way to a council meeting and was able to assist the 59-year-old, thanks to his first aid training as a member of St John’s Ambulance.
“I found Ted on Spital Terrace and he looked in distress,” said Coun Binns. “I said to him ‘let’s try and get you home’, then we got as far as Lime Tree Avenue and I turned around and he was lying on the floor with his bike on top of him.”
“He was unconscious so I realised I needed extra help. I dialled 999 and called for an ambulance.”
It was during the wait for the ambulance that Mark’s skills as a first aider could well have saved Ted’s life.
“The ambulance took about 10-15 minutes, and the only thing I could do was what we’re trained to do as a priority and that’s protect the airways,” he said. “With an unconscious casualty, the most important thing is to make sure that they can breathe properly, and I did all I could by checking there was nothing in his mouth, tilting his head back and putting him in the recovery position.”
He continued: “Other than that, he was in and out of conscious so all I could do was keep saying ‘come on Ted, stay with me’.”
Mark says that everyone should learn basic first aid just in case of an emergency.
“It’s hard to say what would have happened if I wasn’t there,” said Mark. “His tongue could have slipped down his throat and choked him.”
He added: “First aid is a very vital thing, and it’s definitely worth learning.”
“I’d encourage everyone to learn basic first aid – you never know when you’re going to need it.”
Ted said that it was all a very frightening ordeal and he was extremely grateful to Mark.
“One minute I was riding my bike home from town,” said Ted. “I got half-way, then I got off my bike and tried to make it back to my flat when I just thought ‘oh sugar’, then collapsed.”
“I hit my head, then after that I can’t remember what happened. I kept drifting in and out of consciousness and thinking ‘this is it.’”
Ted continued: “I can’t imagine what would have happened if Mark wasn’t there with his medical training.”
“He could well have saved my life.”
For more information on St John’s Ambulance or to learn first aid visit www.sja.org.uk.