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Praise for saving cyclist’s life

By Jake Beleski

[email protected]

Wellington Free Ambulance has praised the efforts of people attending to a Whanganui cyclist who suffered a cardiac arrest during a race on Sunday.

Paul Forrest was found on the side of the track at Masterton Motorplex with a mate looking over him when other riders realised something was seriously wrong.

Phil Sutherland, of Masterton, performed CPR on Mr Forrest until medics arrived.

WFA field operations manager Geoff Proctor said it was a combination of factors that led to the man’s life being saved.

“We had two event medics on-site who are volunteers of ours that were covering the event. Amongst the other cyclists there also happened to be some of the emergency department doctors and nurses from Wellington Hospital who were able to immediately intervene and attend to this guy.”

A simultaneous crash about 500m away from Mr Forrest had resulted in a complex situation, he said.

“There were two incidents that happened – one was the cardiac arrest of the male cyclist, but there was also a multi bicycle crash at the same time. It created quite a complicated and difficult scene for the staff to manage.”

The event medics had direct access into the communications centre and were able to activate an emergency ambulance response immediately, he said.

“We managed to get operational resources, three ambulances and a helicopter there pretty promptly. The combined intervention and the equipment that was carried by the WFA events team undoubtedly saved the guy’s life.”

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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