WE all hope that if we ever ended up in an emergency, someone would be there to step in and help us.
Well, these people did just that.
From professionally trained first responders, to people who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, we have a bunch of heroes up for the 999 Hero gong at The Sun’s Who Cares Wins awards – sponsored by the National Lottery, in partnership with NHS Charities Together.
The winner will be honoured in a glitzy ceremony hosted by Davina McCall and screened on Channel 4 and All 4 on November 27 at 6.30pm.
And here are our brilliant finalists…
East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST), Magpas Air Ambulance and Linda, Paul and Tommy Sadler
DAISY Webb’s life was saved by a team of heroes after the teenager suffered a cardiac arrest while walking to school in April this year.
The teenager was spotted collapsed into a hedge in Huntingdon, Cambs, by Linda Sadler, 55, husband Paul, 55, and their son, Tommy, 15, and they called 999.
Emergency Medical Technician Charlie Harris, from the East of England Ambulance Service, was on the scene within three minutes in an emergency response car, shortly followed by paramedics Harrison Galgut, 27, and Grace Lemin, 25.
Charlie said: “I could see the ambulance coming so I took the defibrillator, put the pads on then we gave her a shock and started CPR.
“At this stage, she was blue. She was not breathing.
“After two minutes, we checked Daisy’s heart and there was just a straight line.
“It was what we call an ‘unshockable rhythm’ so Harrison carried on with CPR while I put a line in her airway and Grace was putting in a canula.
“After four minutes we checked her again and there was a change. She was trying to breathe and her heart was beating.”
A crew from Magpas Air Ambulance arrived to assist and though Daisy wasn’t airlifted, she was put in an induced coma and rushed to Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge.
Dr James Price, head of the team based at RAF Wyton, said: “Survival from cardiac arrest is very rare, especially in children.
“Everything went in Daisy’s favour, from the bystander calling 999 to the CPR given early and the early shock to her heart from the ambulance crew.
“To see Daisy and her family is incredible. It is very rewarding and makes the eight years of training seem all the more worthwhile.”
Daisy was transferred to London’s Great Ormond Street the following day and spent two weeks in hospital before being allowed home.
Doctors were unable to find out why she suffered the cardiac arrest, but she has been fitted with an internal defibrillator to prevent anything similar happening again.
Her dad John, 61, a retired police officer who now works in patient transport for the NHS, said: “Daisy had been very lucky as she had collapsed into a hedge and she could easily have been missed, but she was spotted by Linda.
“We believe Daisy was late for school and had run up the hill.
“The ambulance arrived in minutes. I can’t praise the crew enough.
“They don’t get a lot of praise for their job but what they did is amazing. They saved Daisy’s life.”
Daisy’s mum Lisa Webb, 52, an assistant client accountant, added: “Words cannot express how grateful I am to everyone who helped Daisy that day.
“From Linda that saw her driving past and stopped to help, to the ambulance crew who were there in minutes, the police on scene and the air ambulance crew who took her to Addenbrooke’s.
“Everyone was in the right place that day.”
Daisy, now 14, added: “I cannot recall the day itself but words can’t really describe how I feel, just gratitude and thanks to everybody who gave me the chance to live.”
London Ambulance Service’s Ukraine ambulance donation team
SEEING the brutal attacks on Ukraine on the television, members of the London Ambulance Service decided to take action.
Within weeks of the conflict starting, they had rallied 26 staff and ten decommissioned ambulances to take much-needed medical supplies to the Polish-Ukrainian border.
Paramedic Eva Bartoskova, one of those who came up with the idea, said: “I’m Czech and the war in Ukraine felt close to home.
“So I did the only thing I knew how to do and began to raise money with a JustGiving page.
“I was overwhelmed by the reaction. We had amazing support from London Ambulance Service and the branch of Unison – everyone joined together.
“We got a small group of paramedics who gave up their time and it just grew.”
The decommissioned ambulances were no longer being used on the frontline fleet so mechanics – led by Fleet Multi-skilled technician Nathan Estall – restored the vehicles.
In an incredible feat of logistics, within days the ambulances were packed with pallets of equipment, from bandages, to syringes and to ventilators, donated from various hospital trusts.
The group was led by Michael Pearce, 59, incident and delivery manager for London Ambulance Service, said the response was so great that they could have done the trip five or six times over.
The group, all volunteering their own time, included paramedics, Nathan, 52, and other and non-clinical staff.
It took three days for the convoy of ambulances to drive the 1,200 miles to reach Przemyśl in Poland, where they were handed over to local paramedics, who then drove them over the nearby border to Lviv in Ukraine.
Rafal Kijanka, director of the provincial ambulance service in Przemyśl, said: “When we saw the ambulances arrive and the volunteers’ smiling faces, they gave us motivation and hope to help the Ukrainian people.
“It was very emotional, people from three countries – the UK, Poland and Ukraine – building a team together to help each other.
“We have seen the worst of mankind, but also the best.
“The people in Lviv were really grateful and happy. They could feel they were not alone and they really needed the medical supplies.”
The team were nominated by Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrats Leader in the London Assembly.
She said: “I am very proud of them for this amazing gesture. I cannot think of a team of more deserving recipients.”
After dropping off the ambulances, six members of the team remained in Poland to help out at a refugee centre.
Eva, who was one of those who stayed on, said: “At the refugee camps, I felt like I had a real glimpse of the war.
“Women and children were in such distress. They were without some of the most basic things.
“What we brought them and bought while we were there was a drop in the ocean.
“It would only last a few days as people just kept arriving.
“I wish we could have stayed longer.”
Colleague Michael added: “There were anti aircraft guns all along the runway.
“The thought that you were just a few miles away from a war zone, and then the next day you are back at home having a pizza, is very surreal.
“I’m proud to have played even a small part in helping. Everyone stepped up.”
RNLI lifeguards Tom McRitchie and Graham Fisher, SWASFT and Cornwall Air Ambulance
CHRIS Barendt was technically dead for nearly half an hour after suffering a cardiac arrest while delivering parcels in March last year.
But thanks to the quick-thinking of passersby – including a pair of RNLI lifeguards, and emergency services, he survived.
He said: “It was a total miracle. I was very, very lucky. Those on the scene that day all thought I was dead – I technically was for 27 minutes.”
Chris, 64, was on his Amazon delivery route near Portreath, Cornwall, when he collapsed at the wheel of his van.
RNLI lifeguards Tom McRitchie, 25, and Graham Fisher, 30, were behind him and sprung into action when they saw the van had come to a stop in the middle of the road.
They smashed the van window and pulled Chris out so they could give him CPR.
Tom, 25, who has been a lifeguard for seven years, said: “I saw Chris slumped over and could see he was very, very blue.
“We put him on the floor, checked his breathing and kept his airways open.”
Three minutes later two ambulances and a car with crew members Christian Brown, 46, Ashleigh Eddy, 29, Sinead Kevern, 31, Scott Marshall, 53, and Darren Pond, 48, from the South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust arrived.
Christian, SWASFT’s operations officer, said: “As we arrived, they were doing an outstanding job of delivering basic life support to him. It shows the importance of bystander CPR, every minute really does count.
“We started to get signs of life from Chris and managed to stabilise him. It was a great example of teamwork.
“Everything seemed to align, everything was in Chris’s favour that day.”
Within ten minutes of receiving the call, the Cornwall Air Ambulance landed in a nearby field.
“When they arrived, crews from the South Western Ambulance Service had managed to restart his heart with a defibrillator.
Louise Lamble, 28, a trainee critical care paramedic with the air ambulance, said: “Thanks to the mechanical ventilator in the helicopter we were able to support Chris with his breathing and let his body recover.
“There are not many patients that have come back in quite the form that Chris has.”
Chris was taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital.
Tom Hennessy Jones, 38, critical care paramedic for the Cornwall Air Ambulance, added: “Chris is a walking miracle.
“I get dispatched to those kinds of incidents a lot, but to actually have a walking, talking survivor is actually quite rare.
“This was a really good example of a community forming a team with the emergency services. We all came together to build that chain.”
Former RNLI Lifeguard Graham, who now works as a surf instructor, said: “When we left the scene, we thought we had seen someone die.
“Then the next day we got an update that he was ok and in intensive care. It was crazy.”
Granddad Chris, who lives with his wife Jane in Penryn, Cornwall, is doing well.
He said: “It happened on a quiet Cornish day in the middle of nowhere.
“That’s why the air ambulance’s work is crucial for where we live.
“It was a real combined effort. They were all absolutely amazing, so dedicated.”