Paramedics praised for bravery helping flat residents escape ‘unscathed’
PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 July 2020
A pair of Norfolk paramedics who tackled a top floor flat fire rescuing three people in the process have been praised for their bravery.
Doug Bishop and Jonathan Poole, who work out of Swaffham Ambulance Station, were at a residential home when they were called to a fire in a four-storey building on Hunstanton High Street on July 9.
First on scene, the paramedics made their way into the building after hearing residents in neighbouring flats were inside.
Picking up extinguishers on the way they entered a flat to find a kitchen ablaze and full of smoke. They used the extinguishers and closed the door to contain the fire.
The paramedics also escorted three people, including an older man with mobility problems to safety.
Mr Bishop said: “We were at a residential home doing observations on residents as part our care home project when we received the call about the fire and rushed to the scene where we find the couple who reported the fire.
“Our first instincts were the safety of the residents inside the building and we made the call that we would tackle the fire and help evacuate the building if it was safe to do so.
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“We were pleased we were able to do so and everyone was left unscathed.”
Firefighters arrived on scene and were directed to the fire by the paramedics.
The blaze was extinguished quickly and checks were made to ensure residents could return to their flats.
The paramedic pair treated patients and then liaised with social services and the carer of the older man they rescued to help find him more suitable accommodation due to his mobility.
Paul Collins, a leading operations manager at EEAST in west Norfolk, said: “Doug and Jonathan are fully deserving of praise for their bravery and the initiative they showed.
“Firstly, they made the right judgement call that it was safe to enter the building instead of waiting for the fire service to tackle the fire and evacuate the building to make sure the residents were safe.
“And, secondly, they then made sure that the carer and social services were notified that the man on the second floor needed more suitable accommodation for his mobility.
“That is the sort of initiative and compassion we pride ourselves on at EEAST.”
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