“You can learn how to save a life anywhere” Paramedic teaches Inca Trail trekkers life-saving skills 13,000ft above sea level

A London Ambulance Service paramedic, has taught life-saving skills to a group of trekkers at one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu.

Justin Honey Jones, 33, recently hiked across the iconic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu to help raise money for the charity British Heart Foundation and raise awareness of the importance of learning life-saving skills.

Throughout the 40km trek Justin also taught emergency life-saving skills, which covers the use of a defibrillator, managing choking, bleeding, and how to respond to someone having a suspected cardiac arrest.

This Peru trek follows on from Justin’s previous climb to Mount Everest Base Camp last year. The medic raised over £1,800 and over 85 people were trained as life savers as a result of his efforts.

Justin, who teaches these life-saving skills in his free time, was inspired to do so after responding to an incident that stuck with him and made him want to make a difference.

Justin said: “I was responding to a cardiac arrest call and once we were there, there was nothing we could do. I remember thinking the outcome could have been different if cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) had been started earlier or if their relatives were aware of the importance of and felt comfortable using a defibrillator.

“I don’t want to get to a patient who we can’t save a job and think “if only” [someone had started basic life-saving intervention] anymore. That’s why I’m so passionate about promoting the importance of learning these life-saving skills to the public and also building the confidence in people to perform these skills if needed.”

Last year two thirds of people in cardiac arrest in London were given CPR by a passer-by or a relative. London Ambulance Service typically reaches patients in cardiac arrest in seven minutes but early intervention will give the person the best chance of life.

Speaking about the trip Justin said: “With this trip I wanted to illustrate that you can truly learn how to save a life anywhere. Even hiking at an altitude in one of the most beautiful settings in the world. “It’s free and only takes two hours of your time. But by taking the time to learn these skills you might one day be able to save a life.”

Chris Hartley-Sharpe, Head of First Responders at London Ambulance Service, said: “We want everyone to be confident that they could perform basic lifesaving skills on someone in cardiac arrest. As Justin’s training at 13,000 feet above sea level shows, you can learn these skills almost anywhere.

Justin’s dedication and efforts in promoting the importance of learning these skills is inspiring.

“I hope his efforts will encourage people to learn CPR and how to use a defibrillator. Taking these first simple actions – performing chest compressions and using a defibrillator if one is available in the vital first few moments could save a life.”

The paramedic is not only hoping that his trek will help raise awareness of learning life-saving skills, he is also hoping to raise over £2000 for the British Heart Foundation to help fund research into cardiovascular disease and cardiac conditions.

Justin’s JustGiving page is: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/justin-honey-jones1