A PARAMEDIC on Cumbria’s air ambulance has praised the work of the county's heart centre after its life-saving treatment of a Windermere man.

Andy Mawson, who flies on the Great North Air Ambulance Service's Pride of Cumbria aircraft, said the facility at Carlisle had become a vital life-line for residents.

Mr Mawson was on board the charity-funded helicopter on Monday when a 56-year-old man from Windermere was airlifted while having a heart attack.

The man had attended a local health centre in the town complaining of chest pains.

Medics at the centre performed tests which established he was having a heart attack and the air ambulance was called.

The aircraft and its paramedic and doctor team arrived on scene 13 minutes later from their base at Langwathby, near Penrith.

A road ambulance crew from North West Ambulance Service was also present.

The patient was then flown to the Cumberland Infirmary’s Heart Centre which now performs a rapid treatment to open the blocked artery that is causing the heart attack.

He arrived in a stable condition and was last night (Tuesday) recovering from the ordeal.

Mr Mawson said that instead of having to fly patients for treatment in Newcastle, the charity now frequently used the local centre, saving money and, crucially, time.

“Time is a critical factor in heart attacks, as the longer an area of heart goes without blood, the more tissue dies,” he added.

“A combination of the air ambulance and this specialist treatment centre means that victims of heart attacks are receiving life-saving treatment in a much shorter space of time.”

To find out more about the Great North Air Ambulance Service, visit www.greatnorthairambulance.co.uk