A retained firefighter has been honoured by Great Western Ambulance Service for saving his colleague's life.
Graham Bennetto, retained firefighter at Coleford Fire Station, works at Forest of Dean engineering company SPP Pumps. He and his colleague Andrew Clark, who are both trained in first-aid, saved the life of 62 year-old John Symes after he was found unconscious on the factory floor in March this year.
John's heart had stopped and he wasn't breathing.
While the 999 call was being made to Great Western Ambulance Service, Graham and Andrew began essential life-support on John. They used the on-site automated external defibrillator as well as carrying out CPR.
An ambulance crew arrived at the scene within minutes and an Air Ambulance was also called and later flew Mr Symes to Frenchay Hospital, by which time his heart had re-started and he was breathing again.
Following two heart operations, Mr Symes has made a good recovery and returned to SPP Pumps to thank Graham and Andrew.
The GWAS crews attending the incident were so impressed by Graham and Andrew's effort that they nominated them for a Chief Officer's Commendation 'for their exemplary actions for the benefit of others.'
The two were among more than 100 GWAS staff members, the public and partner organisations honoured at a prestigious evening ceremony held at The Assembly Rooms in Bath on Tuesday June 21.
GWAS Chief Executive Martin Flaherty OBE presented the Chief Officer's Commendations and Awards in front of a 200-strong invited audience of recipients, guests and local dignitaries.
Mr Flaherty said: "What unites all the people here tonight is their desire and passion to make sure our patients receive the very best care."
Gloucestershire's Chief Fire Officer, Jon Hall, said: "I am delighted that Graham has been honoured for saving his colleague's life.
"Being a retained firefighter is a very important job. You have to be dedicated, committed and quick thinking, it seems as though Graham has put these skills into practice here.
"Graham has saved a life and he should be extremely proud of himself, as we all are at Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service."
Councillor Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for communities, said: "Well done to Graham and his colleague, Andrew for their quick thinking, without this the end result could have been far more distressing for all involved.
"I am very pleased that both men have got the recognition they deserve."
Chief Officer's Commendations were presented to 87 people in recognition of the exceptional care provided directly to patients, often in difficult or even dangerous circumstances. Recipients included highly-skilled GWAS clinicians as well as passers-by and trained first-aiders.


Posted: 14.05, 14.7.11, rachael.haydon@pavpub.com