One of our volunteers who spends his Saturday nights treating people in Swansea city centre had a cardiac arrest while looking after a patient.
Billy Jones collapsed at our Help Point on The Strand, near Wind Street, but luckily his first aid colleagues were on hand to help.
An on-duty paramedic, nurse and Billy’s line manager gave him CPR and used a defibrillator to shock his heart.
Billy was rushed to Morriston Hospital, where was told he is a candidate for a triple or quadruple heart bypass operation.
“I want to say a massive thank you to the guys who helped me that night.
I just shows what a bonus Help Point is.
If I had not been in that building, I would not be here now. It is a very sobering thought.”
St John Cymru volunteer, Billy Jones
Billy remembers clocking on at 10pm for his shift and then dealing with the usual flow of people with cut feet and, later on, symptoms of intoxication.
Also in the Help Point were around four fellow first aiders, a police officer and the nurse and paramedic, who are both registered volunteers.
“I had a young guy completely flat out, who I had worked on for a good couple of hours.
I remember my legs going and the next thing i remember is looking up at a paramedic.
He told me I had had a cardiac event”
A few minutes later he regained responsiveness.
“I was still convinced I had fainted"
However, Billy’s experience couldn’t have been further from this. He was stretchered out and on his way to Morriston Hospital emergency department, and from there to the coronary care unit.
The Help Point used to operate from a vehicle in Castle Square before moving to The Strand.
Billy, who is the county resources officer for St John Cymru, helped kit out the new venue.
There for the community every Wednesday and Saturday night, the Help Point is also open on bank holidays and nights where a large number of revellers are expected in the city centre.
“My belief is that all public places need to have a defibrillator and everyone should be trained in the use of these devices as they're a vital piece of equipment.”
A lifesaving defibrillator, also known as an automated external defibrillator (AED) is easy to use and can be placed on someone to give a shock to the heart during a cardiac arrest, but not everyone has the confidence to use one.
The device analyses a casualty’s heart rhythm and will give visual or voice instructions to guide you through each step to use one in an emergency.
Only when it is safe to do so will the device advise and administer a shock.
See more about defibrillators and how you can empower yourself with the skills to use one here.