A lifesaving bicycle paramedics team at Heathrow celebrated their 10th anniversary at the airport yesterday (6).
The Heathrow Cycle Response Unit (CRU) which is made up of 15 medics from the London Ambulance Service (LAS) who have treated thousands of patients over the last decade by responding to 999 calls at the world's busiest airport, were applauded at a ceremony held in Terminal 2 - The Queen's Terminal.
To mark the occasion of the first airport-based bike paramedic group in the world, British Airways worker Graham Clark was reunited with paramedic Mike Hampson who saved his life nine years ago to the day, to receive a new cycle responder on behalf of the LAS and donated by Heathrow Airport Ltd.
Survivor Mr Clark was hard at work in Terminal 1 in 2005 when he began to suffer severe pain in his chest and arms and within seconds collapsed, lost consciousness and stopped breathing.
Mr Clark who still works at Heathrow and attended the ceremony with his two grandchildren, said: “All I can remember is saying to my colleagues that my chest and arm hurt.
"After that, everything went blank.”
“I’m so grateful to Mick and my colleagues. It’s as if I’ve been given a second chance.”
Within seconds of the 999 call being made, cycle medic Mr Hampson had reached the airline worker and after three attempts using a portable defibrillator re-started his heart, bringing him back to life.
Mr Hampson said: "I was definitely in the right place at the right time.
"The fact that we are based here and I was able to get to him so quickly most probably made the difference between life and death."
The bicycle paramedics started out as a trial in 2004 when a total number of incidents attended stood at 473.
Fast-forward 10 years and this figure has increased to 5,915 incidents in 2013-2014.
In the last decade the team has treated a total of 42,000 patients of which more than 4,000 cases have been serious including cardiac arrest.
London Ambulance CRU operations officer Tom Lynch MBE, said: “I want to congratulate and thank the dedicated Heathrow Cycle Response Unit (CRU) team who do a vital job keeping Heathrow staff and its daily 191,000 passengers visitors safe and well."
Mike Evans, health and safety director at Heathrow added: “Keeping our passengers and everyone who works here safe is a core value for us.
"We are pleased to celebrate the anniversary of London Ambulance Service at Heathrow in this entrepreneurial partnership.
"Heathrow is proud to present this world class team with a new medically equipped bike to help take care of our future visitors.”