AIR ambulance crews were today (Sun) called to the same village twice within the space of an hour.

A 75-year-old man was airlifted to hospital by helicopter after he collapsed of a suspected heart attack on a cycle path near Brancepeth Village, Durham City and was initially given first aid by passers by.

The Great North Air Ambulance (GNAA) was called by the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) to help them with the patient – the second time in an hour the aircraft had been called to the area.

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A GNAA spokesman said: “The patient whose heart had stopped was treated and anaesthetised at scene by the aircrew.

“NEAS paramedics assisted in treating the patient and then carrying him up a railway embankment to the aircraft.

“The patient had received immediate life -saving first aid from members of the public who had witnessed the collapse.

“This treatment coupled with the close proximity of the aircraft no doubt had a direct impact on the patient’s survival.

Earlier in the day the GNAA was called to Wolsingham Lane, Brancepeth, after a 59-year-old male cyclist had fallen from his bike at speed and suffered head and facial injuries.

He was assessed and treated on the roadside. Once stable he was flown to the Royal Victoria Infirmary' with a flight time of seven minutes.