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Walton fire-fighters awarded for saving man's life - and not in a fire

3 minute read
Walton fire-fighters awarded for saving man's life - and not in a fire

Published at 4:59pm 15th March 2017.

Four Walton firefighters have received an award after saving a man’s life.

It was an early summer afternoon in June when the team were called to an emergency which would push their skills further than usual.

A man had collapsed in his chair while at a car garage over the road from the local Walton fire station.

A 999 call was made and control centre staff contacted the fire service to establish if any trained firefighters could attend on the Trust’s behalf.

Eric Daniels and William Keenan were tasked with the emergency and they dashed to the garage with their trauma kit.

There they discovered the patient slumped in a chair.

Quickly getting him to the floor, the pair started to carry out CPR realising that the man had now stopped breathing.

Firefighter Barry Culver then joined the pair and worked to manage the patient’s airway before applying the defibrillator and delivering a shock while Colin Francis relayed messages from the station on the patient’s condition.

After a further two shocks, the ambulance crew arrived and informed the firefighters that they had saved the man’s life.

He went on to make a full recovery.

Now the crew have received the outstanding patient care from South East Coast Ambulance Service.

It is thanks to Surrey Fire and Rescue crews having emergency care responder training as part of an initiative with SECAmb.

Under the scheme, firefighters respond to some medical emergencies and begin giving urgent care to patients in the moments before ambulance crews arrive.

In nominating the firefighters, Matt England, Clinical Quality Manager for SECAmb, said: “This incident just shows what good collaborative working can achieve. Prior to this working between our services, this patient wouldn’t have had four skilled individuals close at hand.

“This shows that with early intervention, we can make a real difference to lives.

“I am really pleased that this work is delivering such great results. It is a real confidence booster for the firefighters who volunteered to get involved with this initiative. It can seem very daunting a first but I think that with results like this, it makes it so worthwhile.”

Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Associate for Community Safety Services, said: “These four firefighters from Walton saved a man’s life thanks to their quick-thinking and strong teamwork and I’m delighted their efforts have been recognised. This initiative with SECAmb is about better serving our communities by giving the fastest possible response to people who are seriously ill.” 

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