17th February 2021 — Faced with a man suffering a heart attack and a wait for an ambulance of over two hours, Gordon’s School Head of Transport Edwin Sutton and a colleague drove the man to St Peter’s Hospital for life-saving help.
On his return to the school in Surrey Heath, Mr Sutton then set about finding out what he could do to ease the situation with ambulances waiting times – and learned to drive one!
Mr Sutton, a former police driver, was flexi-furloughed from the Surrey school in January but was in school on the day a male motorist happened to drive through the gates to ask for help.
The motorist said he was experiencing chest pains and needed an ambulance.
"He was travelling from London and felt ill, so came off the M3 and was looking for somewhere he could get help," recalled Mr Sutton, adding: "The gates were open at Gordon’s so he drove in here.
"We could see he was having some sort of cardiac incident but there was a two and a half hour wait for an ambulance so we took him and a defibrillator in his car to St Peter’s."
Once at St Peter’s, the motorist was transferred to a cardiac unit for treatment. He has since been discharged.
Soon after the emergency dash to St Peter’s, Mr Sutton offered to learn to drive an ambulance and work as a volunteer for the service.
Mr Sutton, a ‘blue light’ driver for the police for over 20 years, already volunteers for a local ‘blood bike’ group by delivering blood products and specimens across the region on behalf of the NHS.
He is now working two days on; two nights on and five days off with a qualified paramedic from an ambulance station in Isleworth.
"There is a huge difference between driving a police car and an ambulance," he explained, adding, "If you get to 60 miles per hour in an ambulance you are lucky!"
"I love it. It’s something different, keeps my brain going and I am proud to be able to help others during the pandemic."