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Canaries' Carrow Road is safe for fans

PUBLISHED: 06:00 08 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:38 02 July 2010

Carrow Road, where the quick actions of safety staff have helped save three lives. Photo: Antony Kelly.

Carrow Road, where the quick actions of safety staff have helped save three lives. Photo: Antony Kelly.

Peter Walsh

The boss of stadium safety at Norwich City's Carrow Road ground has revealed that three fans who suffered life-threatening heart attacks in the past two seasons have all survived - thanks to the club's emergency training and planning.

Peter Walsh

The boss of stadium safety at Norwich City's Carrow Road ground has revealed that three fans who suffered life-threatening heart attacks in the past two seasons have all survived - thanks to the club's emergency training and planning.

Andy Batley, stadium safety manager of Norwich City Football Club, said that all three supporters suffered serious heart problems in or around the ground and were revived by safety staff at the club who were all trained in emergency first aid.

Mr Batley said the fact that all three fans were now “alive and kicking” was testament not only to the efforts being put into safety at Carrow Road, but also all football league clubs in this country.

It comes as a new study found too many football grounds in Europe did not have the right equipment to save the lives of fans who suffered heart attacks.

The Swedish-led study, which polled 187 stadiums from 10 countries including England, France, and Spain, found more than a quarter did not have life saving defibrillators - which deliver a controlled electric shock through the chest to restore a normal heartbeat - and many did not have emergency plans.

But Mr Batley, a member of the Football Safety Officers' Association, said Carrow Road was well equipped to deal with any medical emergency both in terms of equipment and staff.

He said: “We train for these events through emergency planning. Not only do we have a defibrillator here on non-match days but we have four on match days.

“All of our stewards are trained in emergency first aid. The reason we only train them in emergency first aid is that we can get trained first aiders from the British Red Cross to the situation within minutes and also have paramedics and a fully equipped ambulance here on match days as well.”

As previously reported, Norwich fan Terry Jordan, 74, hailed paramedics, hospital staff, and Canaries legend Darren Huckerby who all played a part in helping to save him after he collapsed outside Carrow Road in December.

The grandfather of five suffered a cardiac arrest shortly after Norwich's 3-0 win over Huddersfield and had to be resuscitated by paramedics. Huckerby was among the fans who initially went to his aid.

And just weeks later, City fan Keith Folkard, 50, suffered a heart attack at Carrow Road during City's clash with Brentford in January and also thanked fellow supporters and safety staff who helped save his life.

Dr Liam Hughes, a consultant cardiologist at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, has written to the club to praise its readiness for emergencies.

And Simon Bowles, a cardiology specialist nurse at the N&N who was one of those who came to the aid of Mr Folkard, said: “It makes a real difference having access to an automated electronic defibrillator and it gives you a fighting chance.”

Have emergency services saved your life? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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