Darren Rolfe, CEO of Steps Together, who helped resuscitate fellow fan Larry Brooks after he suffered a cardiac arrest during Watford’s game with Chelsea at Vicarage Road has spoken of the importance of learning CPR and first aid skills.

Darren Rolfe was in the Upper Graham Taylor stand at the time of the incident, sitting several rows behind Mr Brooks when the medical emergency happened, and used his skills to provide necessary intervention while club doctors and paramedics made their way over to the stand with vital equipment.At first he thought the commotion in the stadium was related to fan trouble, but when he realised it was something more serious, he put to use the skills he has learnt for his job, working at drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres.

“Initially I thought there were away fans in the Watford end,” said Mr Rolfe. “But then it came to light that the fans around him were looking for first aid and stewarding support and that’s when I ran down and saw Larry lying on the floor.

“It was a bit of a scary situation but as time evolved there Larry woke up and connected with us and then he didn’t and then he did again. I knew in my heart he was going to be okay afterwards because they did all his heart checks with the ECG machines.

“When they shocked him with the defibrillator the first time, he came back around straight away.”

Since the incident Mr Rolfe says he has remained in close contact with Larry, who was taken straight to hospital from Vicarage Road for further treatment and to discover the origin of the problem.

While the knowledge that Larry is going to get the help he needs is thanks enough, Mr Rolfe said that more people need to learn CPR and first aid skills, in case they find themselves in a similar situation in the future.

“The thanks is neither here nor there for me, I just utilised my skills and god forbid, if I were in that situation, I would like to know that someone might have those skills about themselves and be in a position to save my life,” he said.

“When you’re dealing with life and death and it’s right in front of you, it puts a different spin on life and a different perspective. At Watford football club we’re all one family, everyone knows everyone and that’s what the whole ethos is about and for me, Larry was a part of my family in that process and for him to come round and be sitting up talking the next day and the weekend knowing he’s going to be okay is everything.”

READ THE FULL STORY: https://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/sport/19767418.watford-fan-urges-people-learn-cpr-helping-save-larry-brooks-chelsea-match/