5:00pm Sunday 13th October 2013
AN OLDBURY firefighter who saved the life of his friend and colleague has been recognised at a national awards ceremony.
Oldbury station commander Russ Gauden was short-listed in both the Special Recognition and Life Saver of the Year categories at the 2013 Heart Safe awards.
On June 9 this year Russ was at home relaxing with a fellow firefighter and friend who collapsed.
Russ immediately started cardiopulmonary resuscitation and continued for six minutes until paramedics arrived.
The stricken friend needed four defibrillator shocks to bring his heart back into rhythm before he reached hospital.
Doctors and staff were in no doubt that Russ’s quick actions had saved his friend’s life.
Despite not winning the awards Russ was praised by assistant chief fire officer Gary Taylor said: “Performing CPR is difficult and demanding in any circumstances, let alone on a friend and colleague.
“This incident is testimony to Russ’s professionalism, character and friendship.
“We’re equally proud of all of our Heart Safe nominees as their actions represent the very high levels of skills and training that our staff use on a daily basis in keeping the West Midlands safe.”
Councillor John Edwards, chair of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, added: “I’m very proud of our firefighters and the professional life-saving interventions they deliver for people across the West Midlands."
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