On the 22nd July, 4 fire fighters were taking part in water rescue training having recently completed their FPOS training.
It was around 12:30pm when we heard a cry for help from the water. We were situated in the car park having lunch at this point so we quickly donned our dry suits and proceeded to the riverbank. It became apparent quite quickly that the unknown male was face down in the water as his friend was trying to keep him afloat but was physically exhausted and therefore his face had gone underwater.
I turned around and shouted to FF Scullion to get the FPOS kit and bring it over to the riverbank. FF Meason and myself (FF Maddern) tried to locate signs of life, but could not find any, I made sure the airways were clear and we began CPR. It became apparent after removing his top to fix the defib pads that the male had a pacemaker. This was not a concern so we still attached the pads. After approximately 30 sets of compressions and 2 shocks on the defib, the man came back around. He was then placed on oxygen.
We quickly got him up to the car park and waited for the Ambulance. Once the ambulance arrived I then gave them a casualty hand over and assisted them where needed.
The man was taken to hospital and was alive and doing well when he left our care.
I truly believe that if it wasn’t for our FPOS training that we have received then this man sadly wouldn’t have made. It was because of our fast acting and confidence in our training that we had received that he survived. The training we receive ensures that we keep calm under pressure and I believe this also had a big price to pay in this incident.