Glenavy man Fred Harder possibly owes his life to the quick response of the Glenavy Volunteer Fire Brigade when his wife, Beryl, put through an emergency call last week.
Mr Harder was feeling unwell and suffered a heart attack, and after reading advice from a community newsletter, Mrs Harder asked for the fire brigade, rather than an ambulance, when she put through the call.
The Harders live in the country down a gravel road and Mrs Harder said an ambulance would have been at their home in about half and hour. The local fire brigade were able to be there within minutes.
“Believe me, without them Glenavy would be in a sorry state because they are just absolutely marvellous the way they turn out,” she said.
Chief Fire Officer of the Glenavy brigade, Bevan Joyce, said they were called out as first responders to a suspected heart attack last Thursday after emergency services in Waimate were unable to attend. The brigade are currently certified as co-responders but are undertaking first aid training to change this status.
Mr Joyce said upskilling the 21 man team to become first responders to medical emergencies comes with the support of St Johns and is the result of a unanimous decision by the brigade.
By LINDA MCCARTHY