A security guard who works at Durham Bus Station has received a national award after saving the life of a young female passenger.

Robert Metcalfe was working at the bus station when he was approached by a young woman saying she didn’t feel well.

Robert, 51, could see the woman’s condition was deteriorating so he called an ambulance. But before Robert even got off the phone, the woman suffered a seizure that caused her heart and breathing to stop.

Robert began CPR and managed to keep the woman alive until the paramedics came and whisked her to hospital.

During a recent ceremony at Windsor Racecourse, Robert was presented with the Security Officer of Distinction Award, an honour that recognises security guards who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their work.

Durham County Council’s strategic traffic manager, Dave Wafer, said, “Robert is a familiar face within Durham Bus Station who, even before this, already had a reputation with passengers for his patience, knowledge and attentiveness.”

“Through his quick thinking, a young woman was saved and we can only praise his exceptional work and commitment to making Durham Bus Station a safe environment for all.”

Robert Metcalfe 1
Robert Metcalfe with his award

In addition to commending Robert for saving the woman’s life, the award judges praised his wider work in dealing proactively with bus passengers, calming down tense situations and supporting bus drivers.

Robert has been working in the North Road transport hub for the last five years.

It is estimated that around 5,000 lives a year could be saved if more people knew how to perform CPR. A 2015 study found that 18% of the British public do not know what CPR is and that 45% would not feel confident enough to perform it. 60% claim to have never been taught how to administer it.

In Norway, where learning CPR is compulsory in schools, one in four people survive out-of-hospital cardiac arrests as opposed to only one in 10 in the UK.

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