The Wales Air Ambulance at the scene. Photo: Western Beacons MSRT

The Wales Air Ambulance at the scene. Photo: Western Beacons MSRT

Mountain rescuers said a newly acquired defibrillator saved the life of a man who had a heart attack in the Brecon Beacons.

Members of the Western Beacons Mountain Search and Rescue Team were praised by medics who said their actions were vital in saving the man in the Vale of Neath on Saturday.

Volunteers from the team were taking part in a monthly training exercise at Dinas Rock near Pontneddfechan when three members of the public approached them to say one of their group had suddenly become unwell on a path about 800m from the site, on the southern edge of the national park.

Trevor James of the team said: “As a hasty party of casualty carers headed off to the casualty’s location, telephone contact was made to the casualty who reported that he was ‘having a heart attack’.”

The team immediately requested helicopter help and team members treated the man at the scene, using an automatic external defibrillator to administer a shock when his condition deteriorated.

Mr James said: “This was the first time the team’s new defibrillator, received in the last two weeks, has been used.”

Paramedics and critical-care doctors from the Welsh Ambulance Service went to the aid of the man and the St Athan Coastguard helicopter also stood by in case the man had to be winched from the scene.

The man was taken to hospital for further treatment.

The Western Beacons MSRT spokesman said: “Following the evacuation the team’s casualty carers who had treated the casualty were praised by the attending paramedics and doctors who had no doubt that the team’s speedy and skilled intervention had saved the casualty’s life.

“Our best wishes to the casualty for a speedy recovery.”

The team also thanked St David’s Shopping Centre in Cardiff, which donated the vital item of lifesaving kit.

Following the incident and after a short break for coffee and some lunch the team resumed its scheduled river rescue training.

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