Often, we hear about the stories involving 999 calls which aren’t genuine emergencies. Such as, for example, the man who stubbed his toe on a door frame or the woman who dropped a mobile phone on her head whilst taking a selfie.
And then we hear about the actual 999 calls made by someone who is in genuine need of immediate help. Someone who can see that their loved one is embroiled in a battle against life or death.
And this is just one of those calls (scroll down for the actual 999 call that was made)
Pat Moss, 56, an Armed Forces Veteran, was at home with his family on Easter Sunday when his heart suddenly stopped beating.
His wife, Anne, upon seeing him in obvious distress and gasping for air, immediately called 999 and requested the ambulance service.
With calm guidance being given down the phone from highly trained Emergency Operations Centre staff, and helped by her daughter Lauren, Anne carried out vital chest compressions in order to try and keep Pat alive until the ambulance crews and local community first responder arrived.
At an emotional and touching event in Weymouth on 23rd August, Pat met the South Western Ambulance Service team and community first responder who managed to restart his heart.
“It came totally out of the blue,” he told Wessex FM.
“I was dead and gone.
“Without the caller handler, paramedics and hospital staff, I wouldn’t be here.
“I’m chuffed with all the care I received. It’s amazing to still be alive.”
The former Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer was relaxing on the sofa when he started to experience breathing difficulties. He became unresponsive and his wife told the Emergency Operations Centre staff that she could see blood coming out of his mouth.
Anne told Wessex FM: “Our chilled-out Sunday turned into a nightmare. But the ambulance staff were absolutely amazing. We’re so thankful to them.”
Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Tracy Guilfoyle, assessed Pat’s condition through a phone conversation with the family. Tracy then instructed Anne and Lauren to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to give Pat the best chance of survival.
Jeff Jones, West Dorset Operations Officer and Weymouth station officer, told Wessex FM:
“I am delighted for Pat and his family, that Pat has made such a good recovery.
“This is part due to early and effective CPR carried out by his wife Anne, and a prompt and rapid intervention by SWASFT staff performing advanced life support, to complete the chain of survival.
“Pat’s incident highlights that with more people trained and confident to perform CPR, the better the chances of survival.”
Remember, if you are tempted to call 999 and request an ambulance in a scenario that is not a genuine medical emergency, then you could be taking up a resource that might be needed elsewhere in a genuine life-or-death situation.
On the NHS Website, it advises:
‘Call 999 in a medical emergency – when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.
Medical emergencies can include:
- loss of consciousness
- an acute confused state
- fits that aren’t stopping
- persistent, severe chest pain
- breathing difficulties
- severe bleeding that can’t be stopped
- severe allergic reactions
- severe burns or scalds
Call 999 immediately if you or someone else is having a heart attack or stroke. Every second counts with these conditions.
Also call 999 if you think someone has had a major trauma, such as after a serious road traffic accident, a stabbing, a shooting, a fall from height, or a serious head injury.
I wish my former shipmate, Mr Moss, all the best. And what a credit to our country our emergency services are!
Featured picture credit: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust