• Post author:
  • Post category:News


Dennis Downey from Leominster has been awarded with two certificates of achievement, one from the British Heart Foundation and one from Herefordshire Heartstart for his use of Heartstart basic emergency life support skills, by helping an unconscious man by placing him in the recovery position.

Photo shows:- Loraine Coleman, Co-ordinator/Project Manager and Dr John Ballance Chairman/Medical Director for Herefordshire Heartstart presenting certificates to Dennis Downey for saving an unconscious man who was having a Heart Attack


Dennis was inside a building when he saw the gentleman collapse and become unconscious. Dennis swiftly checked his airway and breathing and placed him into the recovery position. He dialled 999 and waited with the man until the paramedics arrived. Before they arrived the man became conscious, but was very confused. The paramedics carried out an ecg and thought he was having a heart attack. Dennis has since seen the gentleman who confirmed that he had suffered a heart attack.

Loraine Coleman, Co-ordinator/Project Manager from Herefordshire Heartstart was so impressed to hear what Dennis had done that she recommended him for a special achievement award from the British Heart Foundation. She also made a recommendation to the Trustees of Herefordshire Heartstart that Dennis receive an achievement certificate from Herefordshire Heartstart, the charity who was responsible for teaching Dennis Heartstart emergency life support skills.

Dr John Ballance, Medical Director and Chairman for Herefordshire Heartstart and Loraine Coleman recently met with Dennis to present him with the two certificates.

Loraine and John congratulated him on this achievement. Loraine went on to say:-

“We would like to congratulate Dennis for having the confidence to use the Heartstart skills that he had learnt. Well done Dennis for staying calm, calling the ambulance, correctly opening his airway and successfully putting him into the recovery position. The simple actions of opening his airway, placing him into the recovery position and calling 999 bought him time until the emergency services arrived and helped to save his life. This is the very principle of Heartstart and the Chain of Survival, ie acting swiftly in a life threatening emergency to prevent cardiac arrest.”

Loraine Coleman, Co-ordinator/Project Manager from Herefordshire Heartstart said:-

“Had Dennis not learnt these skills and known what to do, the outcome for this man may have been very different.”

To this day Dennis still says “he didn’t think he’d done much!”  “However Dennis did the right thing and I would like to encourage more people to attend Heartstart courses, as you never know when you might need to use the skills to save the life of a friend, loved one, or in this case a complete stranger.”

Dennis is a walk leader for the Herefordshire Walking Festivals and had attended a Heartstart course organised by Herefordshire Heartstart for local walk leaders.

Heartstart How to save a life courses take just 2 hours and are free to attend. At the course you will learn:- how to deal with a conscious casualty, an unconscious casualty and how to put someone into the recovery position; how to recognise signs and symptoms of a heart attack; how to deal with choking, serious bleeding and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Simple Skills Save Lives!

Herefordshire Heartstart run public courses and courses for groups including local walk leaders, voluntary organisations, schools and businesses throughout Herefordshire.

To find out details of free courses in Herefordshire or if you can help by making a donation or by organising a fundraising event visit or contact:-

Mrs Loraine Coleman, Co-ordinator/Project Manager on 0845 60 60 654 or email or you can write to:-

Herefordshire Heartstart, PO Box 305, HEREFORD HR1 9JD

Follow us on:-

Twitter @HeartStart_HFD

Facebook Herefordshire Heartstart


Dr John Ballance, Medical Director/Chairman presenting a Herefordshire Heartstart Certificate of Achievement to Dennis Downey


Written by Loraine Coleman   1/10/15 9.55am

Notes to Editor:-

Herefordshire Heartstart are a voluntary organisation/registered charity – number 1082309. We receive no government or British Heart Foundation funding and rely on small grants, fundraising and donations to keep this vital service running.

Herefordshire Heartstart also provides training and ongoing support to school staff from schools all over Herefordshire.

“The whole ethos of Heartstart is that the training is made available without charge, so we continue to offer the training to the public and schools free of charge.”

Contact details:-

Mrs Loraine Coleman

Co-ordinator/Project Manager


Tel: 0845 60 60 654 (Office open Mon to Thurs 9am to 3pm)