Famous People Series
This is the second in a series of Caches to honour local people who have gained International recognistion in the fields of Technology and the Arts
JAMES FRANCIS "FRANK" PANTRIDGE, MD, CBE
Soldier, Cardiologist & Inventor
1916 – 2004
Frank Pantridge was a physician and cardiologist from Northern Ireland who transformed emergency medicine and paramedic services with the invention of the portable defibrillator, and was known worldwide as the "Father of Emergency Medicine".
James Francis Pantridge (always known as Frank) was born on October 3 1916 on the outskirts of the village of Hillsborough, Co Down. His forebears were small landowners. He was educated at the local Friends School and graduated in Medicine from The Queen's University of Belfast in 1939. During World War II he served in the British Army and was posted to the Far East where he became medical officer of an infantry battalion. During the battle that preceded the fall of Singapore, he received an immediate award of the Military Cross; the citation stated that "this officer worked unceasingly under the most adverse conditions of continuous bombing and shelling and was an inspiring example to all with whom he came in contact. He was absolutely cool under the heaviest fire ".
Captured at the fall of Singapore, Pantridge spent much of his captivity in the slave labour camps on the Siam-Burma Railway, including some months in the notorious "death camp", Tanbaya, on the Siam-Burma border where he had the tendons on his hands severed so that he would never perform surgery again. He survived the usually fatal cardiac beriberi, an experience which may have initiated his special interest in heart disease.
After his liberation he worked as a lecturer in the pathology department at Queen's University, and then won a scholarship to the University of Michigan, where he studied under Dr. F. N. Wilson, a cardiologist and authority on electrocardiography. Frank Pantridge returned to Northern Ireland in 1950, and was appointed as cardiac consultant to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast and professor at Queen's University, where he remained until his retirement in 1982. There he established a specialist cardiology unit whose work became known around the world.
By 1957 Pantridge and his colleague, Dr. John Geddes, had introduced the modern system of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for the early treatment of heart attack. Further study led Frank Pantridge to the realization that many deaths resulted from ventricular fibrillation which needed to be treated before the patient was admitted to hospital. This led to his introduction of the mobile coronary care unit (MCCU), an ambulance with specialist equipment and staff to provide pre-hospital care.
To extend the usefulness of early treatment, Pantridge went on to develop the portable defibrillator, and in 1965 installed his first version in a Belfast ambulance. It weighed 70 kg and operated from car batteries, but by 1968 he had designed an instrument weighing only 3 kg, incorporating a miniature capacitor manufactured for NASA.
With these developments, the Belfast treatment system, often known as the "Pantridge Plan", became adopted throughout the world by emergency medical services. The portable defibrillator became recognised as a key tool in first aid, and Pantridge's refinement of the automated external defibrillator (AED) allowed it to be used safely by members of the public.
Although he was known worldwide as the "Father of Emergency Medicine", Frank Pantridge was less acclaimed in his own country, and was saddened that it took until 1990 for all front-line ambulances in the UK to be fitted with defibrillators. He was awarded the CBE in 1978.
This is a multi stage cache it starts at a tribute to the "Father of Emergency Medicine" where you will get enough information to take you to the cache. No suitable hiding place could be found in the immediate facinity hence you have to walk to find your goal. The terrain rating has been set to 1.5 to indicate that it may not be suitable for wheelchair access, while most of the area is flat it does involve steps to access the cache. The cache is a small magnetic keysafe, so no room for trades or travelers, please bring your own pencil.
Way Point 1
N54 30.690 W6 02.085
A = The year John Sherlock signed the figure
B = The number of Rocks on the plinth with the statue
C = The number of switches on the Defrillator
D = Number of clips on the tie
E = The number of visable buttons on his jacket minus C from above
N54 30.A(B+1)(C+1) W06 02.(D+1)DE
More in the Series
1. Sir Hamilton Harty
2. Professor Frank Pantridge
3. Oliver Hutchinson
4. Harry Ferguson