Firefighters who saved their Captain’s life after he went into cardiac arrest at a recent fire have been recognised by CFA’s Chief Officer with a special commendation.
Spring Hill Captain Scott Selle was attending a caravan fire in Glenlyon on 1 February when he collapsed.
His fellow firefighters immediately took action to save Scott’s life by using the defibrillator on their fire truck.
The firefighters, including his partner Kath who was also at the incident, did an incredible job to not only fight the fire but to also save Scott who was unconscious.
Scott said he probably would have died if it wasn’t for his fellow firefighters and the defibrillators on scene.
“I’m a farmer so I’m mostly working on my own. If this had happened while I was working on the farm, I wouldn’t be here today,” Scott said.
“We actually had a number of defibrillators on scene that day which was great.
“Defibrillators save lives, it’s that simple. The defibrillator brought me back to life within two minutes and I’m so grateful we had them available to us.
“I honestly can’t thank my team-mates and paramedics enough for everything they did that day to save my life.”
CFA has more than 1,300 defibrillators across the state which play an important role in the safety and protection of firefighters and community members at the incidents CFA responds to.
As a result of the firefighters’ and paramedics’ remarkable efforts, CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan has awarded them with a CFA Commendation.
“Those firefighters were put under extreme pressure that day and I am so proud of what they have achieved,” CO Heffernan said.
“A life-threatening event at any incident is tough but even tougher when it’s someone in your team.
“The firefighters acted quickly and used their first aid skills to save Scott’s life. The paramedics who then took over kept Scott conscious and safe on the way to hospital.
“It was a huge team effort from firefighters and paramedics that day and it is my great honour to present them with Commendations today.
Ambulance Victoria MICA Paramedic Simon James who attended the incident said Scott is one of the lucky ones, with only one in ten people surviving a cardiac arrest.
“Scott’s case shows just how important those first few minutes are. We know that if you receive CPR and a defibrillator is used, the patient’s chance of surviving increases by almost 70 per cent,” Simon said.
“We encourage everyone to become familiar with CPR and to find out where their closest automated external defibrillator (AED) is located.”
There are more than 6,500 AEDs registered across Victoria.
To find the closest AED or to register a device, visit registermyaed.ambulance.vic.gov.au.