A VOLUNTEER first aider has been recognised for her efforts to revive a man found collapsed in a subway.
Debra Scholick was passing by when she helped the man after he was found in the tunnel which connects Eden Hill Road and the lower section of the car park of Asda, in Peterlee.
When police officers also arrived, he had no detectable heartbeat, was unresponsive and had turned blue.
Debra, who is a member of Easington’s first responder team, was carrying a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation mask which she used, while Detective Constable Dave McKinlay, one of the four police involved in the call-out, gave him CPR.
The pair stabilised the man until the arrival of the ambulance crew.
Between them, they helped him regain consciousness.
Debra and Det Con McKinlay have now been given letters of appreciation from the St John Ambulance Service, which were presented to them by Durham Constabulary’s Deputy Chief Constable Michael Banks.
Debra has also been presented with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her involvement with the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), which runs the first responder scheme.
The 43-year-old, who had been out shopping at the time of the incident in August last year and was not on duty, said: “I would like to thank the uniformed officers in attendance at the time as without them I don’t think I would have had the confidence to take control and administer CPR.”
Bob Mason, community resuscitation officer at NEAS, added: “I am very pleased that Debra has been awarded thanks from St John Ambulance and Durham Constabulary for her actions in helping to save a life.
“We are proud of our community first responder volunteers and the work that they carry out.
“They can be first on scene while an ambulance is en route and are a vital link in the chain of survival.
“Undoubtedly without her swift actions the outcome could have been very different for the young man concerned.”
First responders are trained to act on behalf of NEAS, responding to emergency calls when dispatched by ambulance control.
They deal with a specific list of emergencies and provide the patient with support and appropriate treatment until an ambulance arrives.
These can include life threatening emergencies such as heart attacks, breathing difficulties, chest pains, collapse and unconsciousness not due to trauma, with each volunteer kitted out with equipment for when they are on duty.