Paramedics heroes to family

Last updated 13:55 27/05/2008
NICOLA WILLIAMS/Eastern Courier
THANKFUL: Ernst Bass is grateful to paramedic Craig Watts for saving his life.

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A family counting their blessings has given St John a GPS for their lifesaving efforts.

Ernst Bass, 49, went into cardiac arrest while on a bike ride outside the Paradice ice-skating rink in Botany.

His son Jonathan, who was riding with him, rang 111 and put him in the recovery position.

Mr Bass’ heart stopped because of a blockage.

"Then my hero Craig came on the scene," says his wife Deborah.

The family say they were fortunate St John staff were only three minutes away and were able to revive him with CPR and defibrillation.

Only 2 percent of people who suffer that type of cardiac arrest live, and Mr Bass was as far gone as he could get without dying.

"I’m very fortunate to be alive," he says.

His first stop after being discharged from a four-day stay in hospital was the Howick ambulance station to thank paramedic Craig Watts.

"They have kept our family together and they are our heroes," Mrs Bass says.

"We could have been organising a funeral."

The family decided to show their gratitude by replacing a electronic mapping system taken in a smash-and-grab robbery in Manukau last month.

Time was of the essence in getting Mr Bass treatment, so if a GPS can shave off a couple of seconds getting to the scene it can make a difference, they say.

"If it saves a minute or a second it will be beneficial," says Mr Bass’ mother Gretl, who bought the GPS on behalf of the family.

Mr Watts says it was great to see Mr Bass walk in fit and well.

"Our reward is seeing you where you are now," he says.

Twenty-five years ago Mr Bass’ father had a heart attack and St John were there to save his life.

"St John have been instrumental in saving the lives of two generations, Mrs Bass says.

The GPS is especially useful finding streets at night.

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- Eastern Courier

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