A CENTRAL Victorian fire captain has thanked his crew, after they saved his life at the scene of a fire.
Spring Hill Brigade Captain Scott Selle was called to a caravan fire with crews, when he collapsed into the arms of First Lieutenant Garry McKimm.
Mr McKimm said immediately his mind jumped to heart attack or stroke. He grabbed the first aid kit, ripped off Mr Selle's shirt, and put on the defibrillator.
It shocked Mr Selle back to consciousness.
But he stopped breathing again, so the crew began CPR and put the defribullator on again.
When an ambulance arrived, it took Mr Selle straight to Ballarat hospital.
Mr Selle said he probably would have died if it wasn't for firefighters on the scene and the defibrillator.
Mr McKimm said Mr Selle was set to make a full recovery, thanks to the defibrillator.
He said it felt pretty special to have saved a good mate's life with his brigade.
"The commitment from everyone was astounding ... no one was prepared to give up, no one was prepared to accept anything else but a success," he said.
Mr McKimm reminded people defibrillators were available throughout the community, saying that quick intervention could save a life.
Paramedic Simon James - who attended the incident - said Mr Selle's case showed just how important the first few minutes were after a heart attack. He said defibrillator use increased a patient's chance of survival by 70 per cent.
Country Fire Authority chief officer Jason Heffernan awarded firefighters and paramedics on scene a CFA Commendation on Saturday.
Find your closest defibrillator at: registermyaed.ambulance.vic.gov.au.
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