They will forever be the most important 10 minutes of Ian Hutchinson's life.

In that 10 minutes, and the crucial few minutes that kicked them off, the 56-year-old's friend Donald and good Samaritans sprung into action and prevented a catastrophic result.

Hutchinson, a fit and healthy father-of-one, had been riding with his mate on an ordinary Tuesday when he unexpectedly came off his bike after going into cardiac arrest, news.com.au reported.

The Sydney dad was clinically dead for 19 minutes, between the 10 it took bystanders to work on him until paramedics arrived, and the nine it then took to get his heart started again.

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"I was actually dead," he said. "I don't remember the day and I don't remember four days afterwards because I was in a coma for one of them."

But Hutchinson knows what happened because he listened to the triple-0 call.

"It's fascinating listening to it back from an educational perspective," he said.

"The thing that really got me was when you hear your own ambulance coming and also how long it took to actually locate us.

"I was very lucky on the day because a few people jumped in to help.

"A couple of people were walking and one was running. Good Samaritans just went, 'Hey, how can I help?' One of the runners had only just done a first-aid course.

"My poor mate was the one who had to do mouth-to-mouth but we're much closer now because of it," he joked.

Ian Hutchinson with his mate Donald (right) who helped save his life. Photo / Supplied
Ian Hutchinson with his mate Donald (right) who helped save his life. Photo / Supplied

Hutchinson had no risk factors and had only months earlier completed an endurance cycle from Amsterdam to Paris.

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"This was absolutely a garden variety bike ride compared to any of that," he said.

"It shows you life-threatening accidents can happen to anyone at any time and first aid is going to save your family and friends.

"If it wasn't for those people around me who knew first aid I wouldn't be alive."

Hutchinson thinks more people should be trained in first aid, with Australia having one of the poorest rates of first aid training in the world.

Globally about 140,000 people die each year in situations where their lives could have been saved if somebody had known first aid.

A person whose heart has stopped has an 80 per cent chance of surviving if CPR is started in the first minute. That goes down to less than 5 per cent survival chance if CPR is not started until 10 minutes later.

"Immediate first aid can keep enough oxygen to the brain so because it was so good and people jumped in straight away I had absolutely no side effects which is remarkable," Hutchinson said.

"I've heard so many stories of people who don't get first aid and they've got brain damage and it's taken them years to walk and talk again so I was very lucky.

Hutchinson implored people to stop with the "she'll be right" attitude.

"The thing that really freaks me is how Australia has such a low percentage of people first aid trained," he said.

"I don't know if it's because we're complacent because our health system is so good but it's the (first) 10 minutes that's the most life-threatening part.

"Some people sadly ring the ambulance and wait for them to save the day.

"If no one had done anything in three minutes I'd probably be brain dead."

World First Aid Day is on Saturday, September 14, and the Australian Red Cross is aiming to host the nation's largest ever multicultural first aid training session with free sessions held simultaneously in numerous locations around the country.