New South Wales | Busy morning for Sussex Inlet paramedics

Mr Pinder with his lifesaving paramedics. Standing – Kylie Solberg and Gavin Richardson, Kneeling – Gary Leaver, Nick Gibson. Photo courtesy of Jane Donald.

NSW–Our Sussex Inlet Ambulance team are proof that a paramedic’s day is never done.

As the team prepared for the presentation of a Cardiac Arrest Survivor’s Award to local man John Pinder this morning, a Triple Zero (000) call was received to attend another man who had suffered a heart attack.

Like Mr Pinder, the second patient was revived, and became one of a low three percent of patients who survive post cardiac arrest, outside hospital.

Mr Pinder said he owed his life to his wife and the quick response of local paramedics.

On 10 March 2012, he was relaxing at home when he suddenly collapsed on the kitchen floor and stopped breathing. His wife Leanne witnessed the event and immediately dialled Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance.

With the instruction of the ambulance operator, Janelle Gaskin, Leanne commenced effective CPR on her husband. Minutes later, paramedics from Sussex Inlet and Huskisson arrived to take over.

Paramedics administered life saving treatment and managed to restart John’s heart before transporting him to Shoalhaven Hospital in a critical condition. In all, six paramedics were involved in Mr Pinder’s treatment, Nick Gibson (Huskisson station), Gary Leaver (Sussex Inlet), Gavin Richardson (Sussex Inlet), Kylie Solberg (Huskisson) Rodney Foster-Percy (Huskisson) and Adam Spicer (Huskisson).

Mr Pinder was later transferred to Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, where he received an internal defibrillator. After a month-long recovery in hospital, he was discharged in April and is now in good health.

Sussex Inlet Station Officer Ian Donald said the event was an example of good team work by paramedics.

He added Mr Pinder was an extremely lucky man on two counts.

“Medical literature suggests that the probability of survival post cardiac arrest outside hospital is as low as three per cent,” he said.

“In addition, Mr Pinder lives around the corner from the Sussex Inlet station and was fortunate a crew was present. It made the response time that much quicker. It meant he was defibrillated early and increased his chances of survival.”

The location of the second patient, who also lives near the station, contributed to his early defibrillation as well.

“One of our crews was called to this cardiac arrest probably 15 minutes before everyone arrived for Mr Pinder’s presentation,” Mr Donald said.

“He was successfully defibrillated and taken to Shoalhaven Hospital, so it was a very good morning all round.”

At this morning’s presentation, Mr Pinder was accompanied by his wife, daughter Kelly and numerous local friends who shared in the pride of his award.

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