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Saturday, 29 November 2014

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Calm Millom boy praised by 999 call operator

THE 999 operator who took a call from a 12-year-old boy has praised him for his bravery.

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MY HERO Chris Kershaw with his son, Bailie

Bailie Kershaw, of Festival Road, Millom, was the only other person in his house when his father Chris Kershaw, 58, suffered a massive cardiac arrest.

His 999 call was picked up by experienced operator Kate Riley, from Chorley, who talked the Millom School pupil through CPR.

Mr Kershaw, a rugby coach with no history of heart disease, has since had a quadruple bypass and has been fitted with a £25,000 internal defibrillator.

He is now at home and recovering well after weeks in Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Mrs Riley, who works at the North West Ambulance Service call centre in Broughton, Lancashire, said Bailie’s calm manner almost disguised the critical nature of his call.

She said: “Because Bailie was so calm at first I didn’t realise what was happening.

“I don’t think he understood the enormity of what was happening and in turn I didn’t realise how serious it was. But as the call went on it became clear it was a cardiac arrest and I talked him through CPR and made him count in time with me between compressions.”

In June 2010, Mrs Riley was on duty when calls came in about Derrick Bird’s massacre in west Cumbria.

Operators describe events of that magnitude as “room stop” – referring to the shock that ripples around the control room.

She said: “It was a huge shock from when the first call came in. We were all involved and people were panicking and distressed, it was very intense.”

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