A BURY firefighter saved the life of his best friend when he suffered a heart attack while they were out having a meal.
Keith Hadley is now urging people to learn first aid after the skills he learned as a firefighter were put to use in a real life.
He was having dinner with his wife and their two friends, Beryl and Glynn Molloy, when Glynn passed out at the table.
Keith put him into the recovery position before suspecting a heart attack and starting CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
Following the incident which took place in Oldham, 56-year-old Glynn is recovering after a heart bypass operation.
Keith, attached to Bury Fire Station’s green watch, said: “We’d just sat down at the table and looked at the menus and Glynn just slumped down in his chair — there were no signs — then he fell on the floor and I got hold of him.
"I realised he’d had a heart attack because I couldn’t feel a pulse and his arms started to curl up which is a sign that the oxygen is not flowing, so I started CPR.”
The 53-year-old from Bury carried out CPR for around 20 minutes, continuing when paramedics arrived. They shocked Glynn twice with a defibrillator and he began to show signs of life.
Keith added: “The paramedics saved Glynn, not me. I just kept him going until they arrived but the doctors said there’s CPR and there’s good CPR and what I did was the latter.
"As a firefighter I’d done the basic training, so it was just automatic. But it’s thanks to my trauma technician at Bury who taught me the skills because he trained me so well.”
Glynn’s wife Beryl said: “The doctors told us that Glynn would not have survived had it not been for Keith. We will never be able to thank him enough.”
Keith is urging people to learn first aid and basic life-saving skills through schemes such as the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Heartstart programme. Over the past couple of years, Greater Manchester firefighters have been trained to deliver free Heartstart training to the public.