A Christchurch man who entered a house fire to rescue an elderly woman has been recognised for his bravery, receiving a Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation and a Bronze Medal from the Society for the Protection of Life.
Luke Carmichael, a firefighter in another Service, who noticed smoke coming from a neighbouring property in Purewell forced entry into the rear of the building. He searched the first floor and most of the ground floor, then entered the room on fire and found the occupant. He rescued her and carried her outside to the front of the property, where he started CPR.
A Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation has also been presented to Nina Barratt in relation to the same incident.
Nina, a clinical research nurse from Royal Bournemouth Hospital UHD, also lived nearby and joined Luke in administering CPR. This was continued for some considerable time until the casualty could be taken into the care of the ambulance service and transported to hospital.
When the crew from Christchurch arrived on scene they found a well-developed house fire.
Sadly, the elderly lady who was rescued died the next day in hospital; however, she was given the best life-saving intervention available thanks to Luke’s courage in rescuing her from the property, and the immediate treatment she received from both Luke and Nina.
Chief fire officer Ben Ansell said: “The Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation is the highest award I can offer to a member of the public for acts of outstanding bravery, selflessness or courage in the face of adversity. Both Luke and Nina showed incredible presence of mind to do what they did on that day, and they both thoroughly deserve this recognition.
“In exceptional cases, I will also make a nomination to other bodies, and I was extremely pleased that the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire has recognised Luke for his incredible bravery on that day. It was my honour to make the presentation of a bronze medal on their behalf.”
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