KFRS Water Rescue Training Manager Chris Kendall
A Kent firefighter wants 2018 to be the year more people learn the life-saving skill of CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
Chris Kendall has recently been hailed a hero by the man whose life he saved when he carried out CPR at the side of the road in Scotland in June this year (2017).
The 32 year-old, originally from Cornwall, moved to Kent from Fife a month ago to take up the role of water rescue training manager at Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) based at the Service Training Centre in Maidstone.
Chris was driving through the Scottish Borders when he spotted 59 year-old Allan Hainey being helped from his car after he’d suffered a severe heart attack.
Chris pulled over to help and gave chest compressions to Allan for fifteen minutes to the tempo of the song ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by the Bee Gees (which is recommended by the British Heart Foundation).
However Chris was left with the impression Allan hadn’t survived. But unknown to him, Chris’s CPR kept Allan alive. The Police Scotland IT worker spent 52 days in hospital recovering and having a pacemaker fitted.
It wasn’t until November that Allan was able to get in touch with Chris to let him know his quick-thinking and actions had saved his life:
“It really was the best news ever. I was under the impression he had passed away. I couldn’t stop smiling when I got his message. I was so excited - I was jumping up and down. I couldn’t be happier that he’s alive.”
The pair will be reunited for the first time in mid January for Allan’s 60th birthday party, which is also Chris’ birthday too.
The story of Chris’ quick-thinking and life-saving actions has spread throughout social media and news media over the last day or so, however Chris is keen to use the opportunity to encourage others to learn the simple but effective technique that kept Allan alive, enabling him to reach his milestone birthday.
Chris, a CPR instructor, said: “The greatest benefit of knowing CPR is that it gives you the unique and useful gift of being able to save lives. Being able to carry out CPR can increase the survival rate of victims because each minute that treatment is delayed, the survival chances of the victim gets reduced. Having the skill and being able to use it really can mean the difference between life and death of a person.
Allan said: “My wife, family and myself will be forever grateful. I went through a bit in the hospital, but I’m out and about and doing very well.”
Allan also backed Chris’ message to encourage others to make CPR their New Year resolution: “This New Year – if you’re looking for a new challenge or to do something to mark 2018 – learn CPR – it’s the reason I can see in the New Year with my family. Please think about learning this life saving skill – you too could help give someone a greater chance of survival.”
KFRS is planning on giving the public greater access to CPR training during 2018 and supports the ‘Restart a Heart’ initiative which is a Europe-wide project created by the European Resuscitation Council, supported by the British Heart Foundation and South East Coast Ambulance Service which includes the provision of life-saving skills in schools to as many pupils and teachers as possible. During the scheme in October and November KFRS taught hundreds of people to be able to perform CPR.
Chris said: “It’s incredible that in only 30 minutes people can learn a skill that can potentially save the life of someone who has had a cardiac arrest. I’m proud to work for an organisation that has embraced sharing such knowledge and skills that can have such an incredible impact on those having a cardiac arrest but their family too.”
More info and to find your nearest CPR event
Allan Hainey in the days after Chris carried out CPR