FIREFIGHTERS in Gosport have been commended after they gave life-saving first aid to a member of the public.
Members of Red Watch were recognised by Hampshire’s chief officer, John Bonney at the Hampshire Fire Service Celebrating Success awards after they resuscitated a man who had collapsed near Gosport fire station, in Privett Road, on Tuesday, July 17.
Training kicked in for firefighters Ian Medd, Matthew Parkinson and David Lewis, who is normally in White Watch, when a female police officer banged on their door asking for assistance.
Another officer was giving chest compressions to the man who had collapsed outside the then unoccupied ambulance station, also in Privett Road, but was unable to give full CPR as the man’s mouth was bleeding after he fell.
The highly trained firefighters, led by Firefighter Medd, quickly used an oxygen cylinder attached to a bag valve mask (BVM) on the man, allowing him to breathe.
Firefighter Medd carried out chest compressions on the man and Mr Lewis operated the BVM after Firefighter Parkinson had prepared it.
Firefighter Medd said: ‘He did pass away, he did go proper down, we managed to sustain him just for those 10 minutes until the ambulance crew turned up with their defibrillator. If that police officer hadn’t started and we hadn’t continued it, then he definitely would have died.
‘We spoke about it afterwards and said it was a great team effort, the police passing it on to the fire service and us passing it on the NHS. He was very lucky to fall down where he was really.
‘It was a good feeling that when the paramedic turned up with the defibrillator – they actually confirmed we were doing the right thing.’
Along with members of Red Watch, who received the chief officer’s Certificate of Congratulations, firefighters Steven Burns, Steve Pearce and Martin Ventham from Blue Watch were also mentioned for their assistance later on.
Mr Medd said: ‘It was a nice surprise as it was service-wide. Probably the biggest compliment you can get is from another fireman, rather than an external body. It’s all well and good training but you want to confirm that training.
‘Ideally you want to do it in a situation where the person survives. Sometimes that’s not the case but in this case it was, which made it a little bit special.’