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Hainault and Romford firefighters save man's life while off-duty in Cornwall

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 September 2019

Kel Watson-Finch and his wife, Laura Watson-Finch are based in Romford and Hainault Fire stations. Picture: LFB

Kel Watson-Finch and his wife, Laura Watson-Finch are based in Romford and Hainault Fire stations. Picture: LFB

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Two off-duty firefighters who work at Hainault and Romford stations worked quickly to save a man's life after he suffered a heart attack on a beach in Cornwall.

Shaun Bishop from Kingston Fire Station helped save a man's life while off-duty in Cornwall. Picture: LFBShaun Bishop from Kingston Fire Station helped save a man's life while off-duty in Cornwall. Picture: LFB

Firefighter Kel Watson-Finch and his wife, firefighter Laura Watson-Finch, were on holiday with their children when they noticed that a man had become seriously ill.

A man in his late 50s was tending to his boat on Penetewan beach when he collapsed in shallow water.

Kel and Laura rushed to the man's aid and swiftly used their first aid skills learned at the London Fire Brigade (LFB) to help save the man's life.

"We checked for a pulse and tried talking to him but we had no response," said Kel.

Kel Watson-Finch and his wife, Laura Watson-Finch are based in Romford and Hainault Fire stations. Picture: LFBKel Watson-Finch and his wife, Laura Watson-Finch are based in Romford and Hainault Fire stations. Picture: LFB

"He was showing signs of agonal gasp and we couldn't find a pulse so we took it in turns to do CPR."

The couple were then joined by Shaun Bishop from Kingston Fire Station who was also on holiday at the time.

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He offered to help with the rounds of CPR until paramedics arrived with a defibrillator and the air ambulance landed to take the man to Truro Hospital.

Kel Watson-Finch and his wife, Laura Watson-Finch are based in Romford and Hainault Fire stations. Picture: LFBKel Watson-Finch and his wife, Laura Watson-Finch are based in Romford and Hainault Fire stations. Picture: LFB

A couple of days later, Shaun and his wife went back to the same beach and met the man's daughter, who passed on her father's details so he could be visited in hospital.

Speaking about the visit, Shaun said: "As I approached the bed, I saw his wife first and she gave me a massive hug and was crying.

"I shook his hand and he was crying and saying that he couldn't thank me enough.

"When I got to him, he was basically dead and to see him three or four days later it was an incredible feeling."

Kel joined LFB 10 years ago after having spent 12 years previously at Essex Fire and Rescue Service.

He added: "We acted purely by instinct with what we saw.

"The gentleman coming round and showing signs of life showed a positive outcome which is all we could hope for."

Laura has been with LFB for 15 years while Shaun has been with the brigade for 16 years.

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