Fortunately due to first aid training and the quick actions of Fletcher employees, Bob McGuiness lived to tell the tale.

“The morning it happened I was feeling bloody good,” Bob explains. Things took a dramatic turn for the worse when he suddenly collapsed while preparing to lift some steel.

The AED (Automated External Defibrillator) was retrieved from the shed nearby, the ambulance service was called, and several workers provided first aid treatment. Bob’s workmates gave CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and attached the AED, and a shock was given.

“When they do the training you hope they’re never going to need it but everyone did what they needed to do - text book stuff. Each person did their job,” project manager Ian Howard explains.

When he woke up in hospital with a stiff left arm and a beating heart, Bob’s family was appreciative to have him lying in the hospital bed alive.

“I woke up at 5pm in A and E with my wife and Mum holding my hand,” Bob exclaims.

Less than six weeks after the incident and Bob is back to three shifts a week.

“I look forward to Monday, Wednesday and Friday going to work. I’ve worked all my life. Don’t know what I’ll do when I retire.”

Bob is fitted with a Pacemaker and defibrillator. He explains to us that if his heart stops for more than five seconds the defibrillator sends an electrical pulse to his heart “feeling like a whack in the chest with a fist”.

In appreciation of the individuals who saved his life, New Zealand Red Cross has presented them certificates. Bob’s story shows that sudden cardiac arrest is unpredictable and if it weren’t for the first aid training of Fletcher employees and having an AED onsite, Bob may not have been able to tell his story today.