Environment Agency officers save trainer's life

Workers recognised for providing CPR and using a defibrillator after cardiac arrest
James Carter, left, Carl Tibbles and Matthew Bailey with emergency services responders Photo: Enviornment Agency

By Jim Dunton

15 Mar 2024

Two Environment Agency officers have been commended by the Royal Humane Society after their first-aid skills helped save the life of a trainer who had a cardiac arrest in their office.

James Carter and Matthew Bailey work to reduce the risk of flooding in the EA's Mid Suffolk Field Team.

At a staff training session in Ipswich last November, training provider Carl Tibbles began to feel unwell and went into cardiac arrest.

EA field teams are trained to carry out cardiopulmonary resuscitation in case emergencies arise while they are in remote locations.

When Carter and Bailey recognised the severity of Tibbles' plight, they called 999, gave CPR and provided three heart-starting shocks with a defibrilatior while the medical crews made their way to the office.

Tibbles was made stable enough to be taken to hospital where he was successfully treated and discharged. He has now returned to work.

Carter and Bailey have been presented with certificates by life-saving charity the Royal Humane Society.

This week the three men were reunited with the emergency services team that rushed to their aid on the day.

Tibbles said he and his family would be indebted forever to Carter, Bailey and the emergency services staff who responded to the 999 call.

"I will never be able to thank them enough for what they did on that day," he said. "Medical professionals have been amazed at the job Matt did, clearly putting excellent first-aid training skills to very good use.

"I know Matt doesn’t like a fuss, but both him and James thoroughly deserve the award (and more) as without them I wouldn’t be here."

EA incident response coordinator Adam Lunn said the agency was incredibly proud of Carter and Bailey.

"Undertaking CPR is something a lot of people are trained to do but few have delivered," he said. "Less than one in 10 people survive a cardiac arrest. It takes courage to perform CPR and the calm and prompt actions from James and Matthew undoubtedly saved Carl’s life."

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