A HAMPSHIRE man was inspired to join the ambulance services after he saved his friend's life.

Former British Airways cabin crew member Graham Langley, 63, from Bishop’s Waltham, jumped into action utilising emergency training from his 20-year flight career when 66-year-old Richard Lovegrove fell ill suddenly and lost consciousness on an evening in November last year.

Suspecting a cardiac arrest, he immediately began CPR while others called 999.

Graham kept this up for 10 minutes until community first responder (CFR) David Spackman arrived.

David instructed Graham to continue with chest compressions while he set up an automated external defibrillator (AED) and then delivered several shocks before paramedics and air ambulance doctors arrived to continue resuscitation and treatment.

Richard regained a pulse and was taken to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth where he spent six days in a coma and almost eight weeks recovering before returning home.

He has made a near-complete recovery from his cardiac arrest but continues to suffer some memory loss as a result.

Graham said: "The response from the NHS was phenomenal. First David the CFR arrived and very quickly after giving Richard a couple of shocks, two ambulances, the air ambulance crew in a car, a doctor and other professionals arrived.

“It took ages to get Richard stabilised but eventually they said that they had a pulse and that he was still with us. It was such a relief to hear and when they finally stabilised him enough and took him out to the ambulance, it was so lovely.

“I remember watching Richard’s hand move when he was lying on the trolley and that was such a relief and I knew he had a chance. It was an amazing feeling.

After the incident, Graham was praised for his calm conduct under pressure and decided to find out more about the CFR scheme, which sees more than 1,000 specially trained members of the public support the ambulance service by responding to medical emergencies.

They often provide lifesaving first aid to patients before paramedics arrive and assist with ongoing patient care at the scene, attending more than 30,000 incidents every year.

They are funded solely by South Central Ambulance Charity, which provides equipment, training and is responsible for the dedicated vehicle fleet.

Graham decided the join the service and is now a dedicated member of the team of volunteer responders that covers the Bishop’s Waltham, Waltham Chase and Swanmore area.