A HEART attack patient from York who was kept alive by a quick-thinking work colleague is urging everyone to brush up on their resuscitation skills.

Bob Taylor, of Fulford, suffered a cardiac arrest in January while at the headquarters of his employer B&CE Benefit Schemes, in Crawley, West Sussex.

His story featured in The Press after workmate Vicky Allen administered CPR for 15 minutes until the paramedics arrived, but it was a further 15 minutes before medics managed to get Bob’s heart beating on its own.

Now Mr Taylor is supporting the return of a popular television campaign from the British Heart Foundation, which features footballer-turned actor, Vinnie Jones demonstrating chest compressions to the tune of the Bee Gees hit Stayin’ Alive. The relaunch comes following the release of figures which show less than 20 per cent of people survive a cardiac arrest which happens in public.

Mr Taylor said: “People don’t step in. They may try to comfort somebody but they won’t do CPR because they don’t know what to do or they don’t want to do mouth-to-mouth. I think they are also afraid they might hurt somebody because you have to compress the chest by about five or six centimetres. But I would have preferred to have suffered a broken rib than not come round at all.”

He said: “If you aren’t trained in mouth-to-mouth then just do the chest compressions. The more people know how to do it, the more lives can saved.”

The latest ambulance trust figures, published this month, show that in June, 18.5 per cent of witnessed cardiac arrest casualties seen by paramedics survived to leave hospital – which represents 58 out of 314 casualties. In May 2011, survival rates peaked at 28 per cent but have since deteriorated and not risen above 20 per cent this year.

To see a demonstration, go to bhf.org.uk