A lady practices attaching a defibrillator to a man laying on the ground.

Make this year the year you learn how to save a life

An off-duty policeman urges everyone to learn First Aid after a teenager suffered a cardiac arrest in Barnard Castle gym

The emergency services including the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) rushed to the scene at the GlaxoSmithKline gym in Barnard Castle last week.

AN off-duty policeman who leapt into action to give a 17-year-old CPR has appealed for more people to be first aid trained.

Detective Constable Darren Edgar, an off-duty policeman was working out in the gym, in Barnard Castle, County Durham, when the teenager using the machine next to him suffered a cardiac arrest.

Despite never having performed CPR, the Cleveland Police officer’s first aid training kicked in and he quickly started the life-saving procedure and called for help.

“I was using the gym and he was using the piece of equipment next to me when he took a turn for the worse and my training just took over.” said the father-of-two.

“I assessed the situation and his vital signs and there were two other gym users    and the on-site medical team who helped and rang 999. He had stopped breathing so I started CPR until two fire officers arrived.

“They were very quick and also assisted with a defibrillator  and shortly after the paramedics were on scene and then the air ambulance took him off to hospital.”

The teen was placed in an induced coma and stabilised by paramedics before being airlifted to the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, within nine minutes.

Thankfully, he has now been moved out of intensive care and has regained consciousness.

The police offer urged everyone to attend a first aid course in case they ever needed to help keep someone alive.

In the UK, at least 12 young people die of undiagnosed heart conditions every week.  Immediate treatment including CPR and the use of a defibrillator must be provided within moments of collapse to be effective, preferably within three to five minutes. Even the fastest emergency medical services may not be able to reach a victim this quickly.

That is why prompt action by bystanders is so critical and why it is so important that YOU and everyone you know learns CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).


Sign up for one of our First Aid courses before the end of February 2017 and we will give you a free Key Fob Face Shield to keep with you in case of an emergency.

Call us on 020 8445 8998 or book online: