A Hartley Wintney grandfather has been reunited with the co-responders who saved his life.
Bob Gillatt and his family have visited the fire station to thank the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service firefighters who performed CPR and used a defibrillator after the 65-year-old had a heart attack.
Bob, father-of-three, said:“I cannot put into words how grateful I am to all of you.”
His son Luke added: “The response that evening is why we are still a complete family.”
On-call firefighters Steve Bartlett and Harry Smith were attending an evening drill session in October last year at Hartley Wintney Fire Station when the call came in.
Three minutes later they were performing CPR and using a defibrillator on Bob.
Crew Manager Bartlett said: “As the call came in I told Harry to ready himself.
“The dispatcher informed me this was a possible cardiac arrest and I knew from the address that we would be on scene quickly.”
When they arrived the front door was open and Bob’s wife Jenny was on the phone receiving instructions on how to give CPR.
The co-responders secured the airways and a supply of oxygen before attaching the defibrillator.
The pair worked on Bob until his heart started to beat on its own and South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) arrived.
Crew Manager Bartlett added:“Our training had well and truly kicked in. We were working well as a team.
“We both felt that we had given all that we could and were exhausted.”
Shortly after treating Bob his son Luke came in to thank the firefighters and update them on his condition.
However, Bob was able to pass on these sentiments in person over a cup of tea during the recent visit.
The SCAS team also attended.
Firefighter Smith said: “It was an emotional night. Usually the story ends for us after we have treated the patient.
“It was special to see Bob and his family and realise we had helped make a real difference to their lives.”
A number of Hampshire firefighters respond to medical emergencies as part of the co-responder scheme.
Hampshire firefighters attend more than 6,000 medical calls a year – more than any other fire service.
HFRS’s SCAS Liaison Officer, Station Manager Dave Heybourne, said: “This is partnership-working at its very best. Our co-responders have saved many, many lives in conjunction with SCAS during the past 13 years.
“This is just one of our success stories.”