IT was an emotional moment when a St Annes man came face-to-face with firefighters who helped save his life.
Quick-thinking members of the St Annes Fire Station crew leapt into action to help Mel Goupil, when they saw his car crash into a gate-post and found him slumped over the steering wheel – just 50 yards from their base.
The 57-year-old, of Leach Lane, had suffered a cardiac arrest at the wheel.
The firefighters performed life-saving CPR on Mr Goupil while they waited for an ambulance. He has since made a full recovery.
Crew manager Jonny Williams said: “Our first-aid and CPR skills were put to good use. We were obviously first on the scene, so with paramedics notified and on their way and on seeing the driver was in cardiac arrest, we set about administering CPR to keep him alive.
“We’re delighted our contribution that day, in addition to the expert treatment he received from paramedics and doctors, ensured Mr Goupil’s survival and recovery. It really was the icing on the cake for us to meet up with him and our paramedic colleagues to celebrate a job well done.”
Mr Goupil, a grandfather-of-four, said: “It’s hard to put into words how I feel as I don’t remember the day, or even why I was travelling down that particular road. The fact there was people there who knew what do to – for that I’m extremely grateful. You could say I was dead for 11 minutes.
“I’m thankful to the fire brigade for doing CPR and to the ambulance crew for using the defibrillator – together they saved my life. Had there not been people with those skills, I probably wouldn’t be here now.”
His daughter Natalie, a practising GP, said the family were forever indebted: “Less than 10 per cent of cardiac arrests in the community survive and my father’s case serves to highlight the importance of prompt resuscitation.”