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Run Norwich 2017: Drama as off-duty paramedic rushes to help runner who has heart attack

PUBLISHED: 20:40 06 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:54 07 August 2017

Competitors in Run Norwich 2017 in the city centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Competitors in Run Norwich 2017 in the city centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

Quick-thinking paramedics have saved the life of a Run Norwich participant who suffered a cardiac arrest at the end of the 10km roadrace.

Competitors in Run Norwich 2017 in the city centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCompetitors in Run Norwich 2017 in the city centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

An off-duty paramedic was among onlookers who responded to the emergency, which happened near Rampant Horse Street, as runners were close to crossing the finish line in this morning’s event.

David Powles, who witnessed the incident, said: “The poor chap was running along fine and then suddenly collapsed to the ground and was clearly in some trouble.

“The volunteers and paramedics were on the scene in seconds however, working on him and giving him CPR. I don’t think they could have been quicker.

“It’s a terrible thing to happen and to witness, I’m just so happy he appears to be okay.

Competitors in Run Norwich 2017 in the city centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCompetitors in Run Norwich 2017 in the city centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“The swift reaction of everyone involved could only have helped.”

The man, who is believed to be in his 50s, was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for further treatment.

Daniel Wynne, head of marketing and communications at the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation, which organises the race, praised the response to the incident.

He said: “The indications are that the gentleman suffered a very serious medical emergency, but the response from the team and the member of the public meant he got the necessary treatment within seconds.

“We are in contact with his family and offering them support.”

Mr Wynne said measures were in place during the race to ensure anyone needing assistance could receive it quickly.

He said marshals were placed throughout the course, as well as communication marshals who were in contact with the event’s joint operation centre.

He added; “In an event like this there are always going to be medical situations that crop up, but that one [the cardiac arrest] seems to be the most serious we are aware of.

“We are really pleased that everyone reacted quickly and that the gentleman received the treatment he needed.

“The early indication is that the gentleman is in a better condition than when he was [taken ill] on the course.”

Commenting on Facebook, Richard Lain-Smith said: “I was watching the paramedics doing their stuff, well done them.

“When the ambulance arrived to take him to hospital, the man gave a thumbs up and clapped the paramedics. As one of the runners today, all the health staff and volunteers were incredibly efficient and did a fantastic job.”

Alison Littlewood added: “We saw this today and thought it looked bad. Thank god [the] right people [were] about and yes we thank people like this off-duty paramedic and everyone that assisted. Bet he is too. Get well mate.”

Can you spot yourself in our Run Norwich gallery?

See Monday’s paper for an eight-page supplement on Run Norwich.

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