Staff helped to save life of visitor at shopping centre

Staff at a shopping centre have been praised for using their first aid training to help save the life of a visitor.
Security staff Martyn Hoare, Paul Pritchard, Derek Washington, Alex Wilkins and Colin MarshallSecurity staff Martyn Hoare, Paul Pritchard, Derek Washington, Alex Wilkins and Colin Marshall
Security staff Martyn Hoare, Paul Pritchard, Derek Washington, Alex Wilkins and Colin Marshall

Security officers Paul Pritchard and Colin Marshall dashed to the aid of a shopper who suffered a cardiac arrest outside Cash Generator, at the Concourse shopping centre in Skelmersdale, just after 4.45pm on December 27.

They performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and used a defibrillator to help resuscitate them before paramedics arrived.

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Centre manager Gary Mitchell said: “Paul and Colin, security manager Alex Wilkins, who was in the control room liaising with the ambulance and the team on the ground, and other officers did a superb job in what were very upsetting and challenging circumstances. They bravely saved this individual’s life in a calm and professional way, using all their first aid training and expertise.

“There’s no doubt that having the defibrillators on site helped to save their life and I’m grateful for the fact that we had two installed in the centre in April last year. We’ve not had to use either defibrillator before, but this incident brings home just how essential they are.”

Mr Mitchell also praised the actions of fellow shoppers, after a girl called the emergency services on a mobile phone and passed it to the security officers so they could speak to the operators.

Another shopper paid for a blanket from Wilko’s to help keep the patient warm and nurses from the nearby walk-in centre assisted the security officers by doing further life-saving treatments.

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Security manager Alex Wilkins added: “The security officers undergo regular training to ensure their first aid and defibrillator knowledge are up-to-date and while they said they were just doing their job, I’m proud that they put all their training into action.”

A North West Ambulance Service spokesman said: “In the event of a cardiac arrest, there are only a vital few minutes in which there’s a chance to save their life as every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces chances of survival by up to 10 per cent.

“This is why it is so important for people in the community to learn simple life-saving skills as starting CPR as soon as possible, even before an ambulance is able to get there, can dramatically improve a patient’s chance of survival.

“It’s important for people to remember that they cannot make someone in cardiac arrest any worse and not to be afraid to start CPR should they need to.

Anyone willing to take action to help someone in a life-threatening emergency should be commended.”

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