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Lives Saved at Leeds Bradford Airport

13 December 2011

Leeds Bradford Airport and Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust have joined forces to mark the achievement of security supervisor, James Webber, who has helped to save two lives this year at the site in Yeadon, West Yorkshire.

James, who works for Omni-serv, the company which provides security services at the airport, used an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) to help two passengers who were suffering from suspected heart attacks. Both passengers have since gone on to make a full recovery.

Since James received the basic life support and defibrillator training from Yorkshire Ambulance Service he has assisted with many medical emergencies and helped to save a total of three lives at the airport, where he has worked for the past four years.

    Pictured above, left to right, is Dave Jones from Yorkshire Ambulance Service, and security supervisor, James Webber with Leeds Bradford Airport CEO John Parkin.

Heart defibrillators were first installed at Leeds Bradford Airport eleven years ago as part of the Department for Health’s 'Saving Lives' campaign, an initiative run in partnership with ambulance services to install defibrillators in public places to help reduce the number of deaths caused by cardiac arrest. So far nine defibrillators have been introduced in and around the airport, both landside and airside.

Although staff at the airport undertake the training voluntarily, typically 40 staff a year attend the training sessions where they learn how to use the equipment, carry out CPR and administer oxygen.

Speaking of his achievement, James Webber said, "I’m proud to have been able to assist these passengers and offer support and assistance at such a critical time. I would highly recommend this volunteer programme as it gives you the basic skills and the confidence to deal with a medical emergency."

Dave Jones has worked as part of the community defibrillation team at Yorkshire Ambulance Service for three years and trained James himself. He said, "As James’s efforts show, our training teaches life-saving skills which everyone can benefit from and at Yorkshire Ambulance Service we are always looking for more volunteers and more organisations to sign up to become part of the scheme.

"When someone is suffering a cardiac arrest, time is crucial and every second counts. The first few minutes are particularly critical and there is an 85 per cent chance that those who receive effective treatment within those first minutes will survive. But for every minute that passes, their chance of survival decreases. This is why it is so essential to have access to defibrillators and people who are trained to use them in public places like a busy airport."

John Parkin, Chief Executive at Leeds Bradford Airport, said, "James has highlighted how effective this training and equipment is in helping to save lives through early intervention of suspected heart attacks. The safety of our passengers is of primary importance to us and we are committed to supporting this initiative with Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Having this kind of specialised equipment at our disposal not only gives passengers and staff reassurance, but it means we can provide the necessary treatment prior to the arrival of an ambulance."

Yorkshire Ambulance Service supports and trains staff at over one hundred static sites with an AED in the county which include most transport interchanges, major shopping centres, leisure centres and shopping centres.

The Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) used come with clear automated instructions and use clever technology which means a shock can only be administered to a person when clinically required. This makes them very easy to use. 

Did you know...

A cardiac arrest most often occurs as a result of a heart attack, when the heart is starved of oxygen. Cardiac arrests cause the heart either to quiver, known as fibrillation, or stop beating altogether. Defibrillators work by delivering a controlled electric shock through the chest wall to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat after a cardiac arrest. The faster this treatment is delivered, the better the outcome for the patient.

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department