A West Yorkshire man has received a special honour for his commitment to raising awareness to save lives in the community.
Chris Solomons, a former emergency medical dispatcher at the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, was presented with his award by TV’s Dr Hilary Jones at the recent annual National Lifesaver Awards.
It was in 2010, whilst on his way to work, that Chris suffered a heart attack, which blocked an artery causing his heart rhythm to be disrupted and led to him suffering a cardiac arrest. A television crew was filming for Helicopter Heroes at the time and footage of the incident was captured. Chris was flown to the Leeds General Infirmary to have a stent put into the blocked artery in his heart. Incredibly, Chris was released from hospital after four days.
However, since that time Chris’s intent has been very clear, he plans to do everything in his power to make sure other people in the community are as lucky as he was. As a cardiac arrest survivor, Chris encourages the footage to be used to educate and inspire others to train in first aid. Not only has Chris spoken at conferences and seminars throughout the UK, he has also travelled to America and Australia spreading the word. He speaks to community first responders, paramedics and other people working in first response about the fantastic work they are doing and encourages people in the community to assist a person when they go into cardiac arrest.
Chris said: “I’m still standing today because of the difference CPR and early treatment with a defibrillator made to my life. It is vital that people are aware of the life-saving difference they can make when someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest. I can’t say strongly enough how important it is that AEDs are out there in the communities, not locked away in cupboards.”