Brent paramedic heads to Peru to raise awareness of how to save someone having a heart attack
PUBLISHED: 14:56 02 October 2019
Saving lives is all in a day's work for Justin Honey Jones, who climbed to the top of Peru's famous trail to teach trekkers how to help in an emergency.
The Brent paramedic, who works for the London Ambulance Service (LAS), hiked across the Inca Trail in Machu Picchu hoping to raise £2,000 for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).
During his 40km journey he taught fellow trekkers how to respond to someone having a suspected cardiac arrest, including how to use a defibrillator and managing choking and bleeding.
"With this trip I wanted to illustrate that you can truly learn how to save a life anywhere, even hiking at altitude in one of the most beautiful settings in the world," the 33-year-old said.
"It's free and only takes two hours of your time.
"But by taking the time to learn these skills you might one day be able to save a life."
Justin climbed up to Mount Everest Base Camp last year raising more than £1,800 for BHF and training 85 people as life savers along the way.
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"I'm so passionate about promoting the importance of learning these life-saving skills to the public and also building the confidence in people to perform these skills if needed," he said.
He explained: "I was responding to a cardiac arrest call and once we were there, there was nothing we could do.
"I remember thinking the outcome could have been different if CPR had been started earlier or if their relatives were aware of the importance of and felt comfortable using a defibrillator.
"I don't want to get to a patient who we can't save and think 'if only' any more."
LAS said it takes seven minutes to respond to a person having a cardiac arrest but early intervention can save lives.
Chris Hartley-Sharpe, head of first responders at LAS, said Justin's efforts to promote CPR training were "inspiring".
"As Justin's training at 13,000 feet above sea level shows, you can learn these skills almost anywhere.
"I hope his efforts will encourage people to learn CPR and how to use a defibrillator.
"Taking these first simple actions - performing chest compressions and using a defibrillator if one is available - in the vital first few moments could save a life."