HSE’s National Ambulance Service (NAS) presents Bravery Award to teenager who kept friend alive with CPR

Today (Wednesday, 15th March 2023), the National Ambulance Service (NAS) recognised the bravery of 16-year-old Noah Winders from Castleknock, Dublin who performed CPR on his friend Charlie Rutter when he collapsed playing basketball.

Noah, who is fully trained in CPR, carried out chest compressions on his teammate until the arrival of the Emergency Services during the incident at St Vincent’s Basketball Club in Glasnevin last year.

Now almost a year on, Charlie has had an internal defibrillator fitted and has come through his mock Junior Certificate exams and is doing well.

The case came to the attention of NAS via a programme established between the National Ambulance Service and Children’s Hospital Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin. Referrals are made by the Cardiology Consultants in Crumlin to the NAS Community Engagement Team on behalf of children who have experienced an out of hospital cardiac arrest or who have been diagnosed with a life threating cardiac condition. 

The NAS Community Engagement Team then link in with the children’s families and schools and provide CPR and AED training.

Speaking about the incident, Charlie’s mother Fionnuala explained: “I dropped Charlie off for training at St Vincent’s Basketball Club at 9am on 23rd April 2022.  Charlie had started the warm up, running up and down the hall. He fell over and it was thought that he had tripped.  He was helped up and he continued, but he fell over again. 

“Charlie’s coach Dave Winders (Noah’s dad) started CPR and then Noah, who is fully trained in CPR  took over and continued until a Dublin Fire Brigade crew arrived and treated Charlie with an Automated External Defibrillator.

“We were told Charlie had been down for several minutes and that there was a risk of brain damage because it was thought little oxygen had been going to his brain,’’ Fionnuala added

Today the National Ambulance Service (NAS) presented Noah with a special Bravery Award in recognition of the courage he showed while rescuing his friend. The 16 year old received his CPR experience while training to be a lifeguard, and those who attended the incident were impressed with his calm and brave response and wanted to acknowledge this with a certificate of bravery.

Amanda Ross, Community Engagement Officer, National Ambulance Service (NAS), said: “It is important to recognise that young people in their teens can very effectively administer CPR, especially when they have received the appropriate training. We would encourage any young person interested to avail of CPR training opportunities.”

The NAS Community Engagement Team delivers CPR training in schools, as well as supporting the Irish Heart Foundation’s CPR for Schools initiative around the country. Training is also available from voluntary Community First Responder groups. See www.becomeacfr.ie for more information.

At today’s event Noah, now in Transition Year, was applauded by his classmates at Castleknock College when he was presented with his Bravery Award. 

Last updated on: 15 / 03 / 2023