LICENSED LIFE

“I continued performing CPR as there was no way I was going to let him die”

Our Behind the Licence series takes a look at the men and women who have trained to hold a licence and work in their chosen field, whether that be having an SIA Licence as a Door Supervisor, or a Bar Manager with a Personal Licence.

This week we speak with 43 year old Carl Simpson. A Security Guard who lives and works in Sunderland and has been working in the security sector for over 20 years.

Carl discusses how he first began working as a Door Supervisor at the age of 19, and how one morning while starting his shift he was faced with a life changing incident, and how his actions would save the life of a little boy.

Why did you become a Security Guard?

Back in the day when I was 19 a lot of my friends were already Door Supervisors and they introduced me to this line of work and I have just done it since.

What do you like most about being a Security Guard?

Just being around people and the public and the job itself, including all the lads that I work with. It’s a great team.

What’s the most important skill for a Security Guard?

Being able to interact with the public and just being able to talk to the public and interact with them.

Does physical appearance play an important role in this job?

No, not necessarily, it does help with certain situations but it is not necessary. There are women doing this job too so it is not just a male originated job.

Tell us about your first aid lifesaving experience

It was pretty early in the morning so the shopping centre had not long since been open. I had just gone down to start my shift when there was a woman running up the mail screaming and hysterical saying that they needed a Security Guard or a First Aider at the café at the bottom of the centre.

I shouted out to the woman ‘what had happened?’ and was informed that a little boy was chocking and so I communicated it through to the radio that I was making my way down there so that the guys in the control room had CCTV Cameras already placed on the incident.

At the bottom of the centre there was a lot of commotion, chaos and people panicking when I had arrived. I saw a little boy being passed around from different people with members of the public trying to intervene to help.

Everybody, including his mum were in a state of shock and panic as you would in that situation. By the time I had arrived the little boy had been chocking for about 2 minutes and had turned blue.

A lot of people were trying to help but didn’t know what to do exactly, so I come into the situation and took over from there.

How did you save the boy from chocking?

A guy had him upside down and was patting him on the back but not doing it the correct way. The little boy was coughing out bits of blood so I intervened and grabbed the lad and started doing what they call the hymek manoeuvre, which is like backslaps between the shoulder blades while bent over doing chest lunges, and it wasn’t working.

I had the guys from the control room calling out from the radio saying that paramedics were on their way and that an air ambulance had been deployed. By this point now the boy had been chocking for just over 3 minutes now.

I kept trying to perform chest lunges but nothing was coming up apart from just a lot of blood. At one point I thought that he had coughed up what he had chocked on, which I learnt was a sausage that he had for breakfast in the café and so I had stood him up and he had coughed a little bit of it up and everyone seemed to be a little bit relieved, but then we released that it had in fact not been coughed out which is when he eyes began to roll back and he turned a grey colour, so I had to begin all over again.

I still had the control room telling me to keep going as paramedics were still on their way so I continued as I thought that there was no way I was going to let him die. One of my work colleagues had brought the defibrillator just in case we had to perform CPR.

At this point I lifted him back up and started to do chest thrusts and back slaps again and then all of a sudden, a lot of blood came out of his mouth with a big chunk of sausage. As soon as the sausage came out of his mouth his arms flopped forward and his skin turned from a grey colour to pink and he started breathing again.

Watch the full video interview to find out why Carl feels that first aid training gave him the confidence to take charge of the situation and why first aid training should be mandatory for anyone who works in the security sector. 

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