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Heart attack victim praises life-saving treatment

TWO Kent retained firefighters will be praised for saving the life of a man who suffered a heart attack.

Gary Milan and Tim Pitman, who work for the Kent Fire and Rescue Service, resuscitated Brian Collins, 68, from Edenbridge after he had a heart attack on December 11.

They were trained co-responders for the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust, (SECAmb).

Co-responders means people are trained to deal with any medical emergencies while an ambulance is on route. There will be a special reunion meeting with Mr Collins on Monday.

Mick Troth, community defibrillation officer for SECAmb, said: "Most cardiac arrests happen at home or in the community, therefore it is vital that co-responders exist to support the work of the ambulance service.

"Gary and Tim deserve to be proud of what they achieved that day. This is a fantastic example of the support co-responders give to the service and their local community."

Mr Collins had called for an ambulance after he started suffering chest pains. It was while Mr Milan and Mr Pitman were treating him that he suffered a heart attack and stopped breathing.

Mr Pitman, who has been a co-responder for three years, said: "At that point all our training kicked in. We gave him one shock with a defibrillator, an electrical shock machine, and then started chest compressions.

"After about 30 seconds he gasped for air and we saw a flicker come back into his eyes. We then gave him oxygen, encouraged him to respond to us and within 10 minutes he was conscious and talking."

Mr Collins, who remembers little of what happened when he had his heart attack, said: "I don’t remember them arriving but I know I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Gary and Tim. They did a wonderful job and I will always be grateful to them."

Mr Milan, who has also been a responder for three years, said: "I remember Brian saying 'I died, didn’t I?' It was a very emotional and exhilarating time."

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