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Last Updated: Friday, 13 April 2007, 06:25 GMT 07:25 UK
Air ambulance crew win UK title
Paramedics Ian Binnington and Meurig McMillan with Mike Webber
Mike Webber said he was very happy the crew had won the award
A north Wales air ambulance crew have scooped a national title after their quick response saved the life of a heart attack victim.

Paramedics Ian Binnington and Meurig McMillan and pilot Bob Kendall have been named the UK's Air Ambulance Crew of the Year.

They won the award for resusciating 58-year-old boatbuilder Mike Webber in a call-out to Porthmadog, Gwynedd.

Mr Webber said he would not be alive if it wasn't for the helicopter crew.

The incident took place in May 2006, when Mr Webber, from Borth-y-Gest, Porthmadog went to the local hospital complaining of chest pains, but was told he was suffering a heart attack.

The air ambulance was quickly called from its Caernarfon base and Mr Webber was taken to its nearest recognised landing site, which was at Porthmadog football ground.

I popped my clogs and they brought me back
Mike Webber

Mr Binnington, from Wrexham, said that "everything happened at the right time" as the helicopter carried defibrillation equipment as well as a new clot-busting drug called thrombolysing.

"When we got there, it was evident Mike was having a heart attack and it was paramount he needed the drug," sid Mr Binnington.

"He went into cardiac arrest as we were talking with him - we were in the right place at the right time.

"If he had been in a land ambulance, he would not have made it. Everything came together and everyone played their part."

Mr Webber said he was very happy that the crew had won the award.

"They deserve it. I popped my clogs and they brought me back, then flew me to [Ysbyty Gwynedd in] Bangor," he said.

'Peach of a job'

Mr Webber, who works at Porthmadog harbour, was out of hospital after three days and back at work a few weeks later.

"I see the air ambulance fly over at least once a week and it all comes flooding back - [the helicopter] is crucial in a rural area such as this," he added.

Meurig McMillan, 38, who lives in Dolgellau and is a member of the Snowdonia Mountain Rescue, said it had been "a peach of a job"

"It's nice to be recognised, not just for us but for the Welsh Ambulance Service," he said.

Pilot Bob Kendall, from Rhostryfan, near Caernarfon, and the two paramedics will be officially presented with the Ambulance Service Institute award in a ceremony at the House of Commons on 3 May.

Helicopter cover to be permanent
18 Dec 06 |  Mid Wales

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