After having his own life saved by a volunteer, Chris Ennis, 66, from Ribble Valley wanted to give something back by becoming Community First Responder (CFR) for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and has appeared on hit ITV show, ‘This Time Next Year.’
Hosted by Davina McCall, the show features ordinary people pledging to transform their lives in extraordinary ways over the course of 12 months. It followed Chris throughout the year where he began training to become a CFR less than a year after surviving a cardiac arrest whilst playing golf at Clitheroe Golf Club in August 2016.
Chris started breathing again thanks to an amazing team effort from bystanders at the golf club along with local CFR who attended in his own time and clinicians from NWAS. He was taken to hospital where he was given a life-saving heart operation and was back playing golf just six months later and pledged to become a responder himself.
A community first responder needs no previous medical knowledge and is trained up by the ambulance service to respond to 999 emergencies in their local area, giving patients the best possible chance of getting the care they need as soon as possible.
Chris said: “I am extremely thankful to the CFR who helped save my life, he has inspired me to become a volunteer and now supports me as my team leader now that I respond to emergencies myself.
“I hope that by taking part in this television show, more people realise the benefit of volunteering for the ambulance service and it encourages them to sign up themselves. It’s also really important that people know the simple skills they need to help save a life in the event of a cardiac arrest.
“No medical experience is needed to volunteer and the training took just two weekends. I can log on when it suits me and I have been able to use my own experience to empathise with other people and help them in their own traumatic incidents.”
Visit https://www.nwas.nhs.uk/get-involved/volunteering/ to find out more about becoming a CFR.
The show will aired on ITV on Tuesday 12 February and is now available to watch on demand through the ITV Hub.