Ness footballers turn vital life savers

The Ness team that made the journeyThe Ness team that made the journey
The Ness team that made the journey
​What was meant to be a group of old friends meeting up once again over a sociable game of football, turned into a nerve-jangling drama – and a valuable lesson on the need for basic life-saving techniques.

Last Friday, a squad of footballers aged over 40, loosely associated with Ness Football Club, travelled down to Falkirk for their annual challenge match against a team of players from the city, an exchange which was initiated when the mainland group came up to the island a few years ago.

But what was meant to be a bit of fun nearly turned into a nightmare when one of the Falkirk players suddenly collapsed on the field of play at the end of the game with a serious heart condition.

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However, valuable help was at hand. Three of the squad from the island were trained medics (two paramedics and a nurse), while in the Falkirk team they had a policeman and fireman – all with CPR skills. In addition, the facility where they were playing had a defibrillator on hand.

With all that professional experience and equipment, the man was quickly brought round and taken to Forth Valley Hospital. He is expected to make a recovery.

In the aftermath of the incident, the Falkirk side paid tribute to the visiting paramedics – and insisted that it served as a warning.

They said: “Thanks to the many who helped but especially to Roddy, Martin and Christopher and the referee Steven Hoggan who switched to professional mode. Their actions helped save the life of our friend.

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“Their ability to remain calm, think clearly and act quickly meant Peter was given an immediate chance of survival.”

They also said that access to a defibrillator was crucial as if applied currently within four minutes of cardiac arrest can increase survival chances by over 70 per cent. “In Peter’s case, it was 100 per cent,” they added.

The Lucky2BHere charity has been working across the islands to extend the areas covered by a unit and have also been simultaneously running training courses on their correct use. Ironically, one those who helps deliver these courses was playing on Friday night, so – in this case at least – it was the right people in the right place.