An off-duty firefighter was among three people who sprang into action and saved the life of a woman after she suffered a heart attack in Linlithgow.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service officer Derek Mair and his wife Jayne, a former nurse, were driving past the West Port in Linlithgow when the emergency unfolded last Wednesday night.
He explained: “We were coming home from the pictures and I thought I saw somebody getting CPR in the bus stop.
“We turned the car straight around at the next junction. An older woman was lying on the ground and the CPR was actually being performed by a nurse who had been on scene immediately.
“Jayne took over chest compressions to give her a break and she sent me to get the defibrillator from the fire station.
“We got the machine attached and it showed there wasn’t a rhythm so obviously we shocked.
“We actually went through three cycles, with Jayne and the nurse swapping between doing the chest compressions.”
An ambulance arrived around 20 minutes later and paramedics continued emergency treatment by the roadside. They successfully stabilised the woman and she was taken to hospital.
Asked what was going through their minds as the situation developed, Derek said: “The adrenaline’s pumping and you just get to it.
“Everyone was very quiet and just working away.
“You’re busy doing what you can to help the casualty then you’re giving the paramedics all the information, so it’s only afterwards that you come down from the adrenaline high and start to think about it.
“Obviously you wonder how the person has gotten on. It was great to get a text message from her grandson the next day saying she had pulled through.
“It actually came to the landline, so a machine-voice read out the message that his gran had a stent fitted at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and was doing well.
“That was terrific news and both Jayne and I listened to the message a few times.
“We’d obviously like to wish her and her family all the best and really hope that she makes a full recovery soon.”
Paramedics at the scene told the three responders that their intervention was crucial, giving the woman the best possible chance of survival.
Assistant Chief Officer Peter Murray said: “It’s clear that the quick actions of Derek, Jayne and the nurse kept the casualty alive until paramedics could get to her.”