IT MIGHT not be Christmas just yet, but Santa has already given a Rutherford man the best present of all – saving his life.
Telarah fire brigade members were on their annual lolly run on Saturday when, about 2.30pm, they chanced upon a house that was beginning to seep smoke from its front window.
Immediately, the team of retained firefighters kicked into action and began their remarkable rescue operation.
Still dressed in his Santa suit, Nick Carey broke the lock on the front door with the help of incident controller Grant Norman.
Kitted up, Bill Rowles and Joel Philip then made their way into the haze of smoke.
Inside they found a shirtless man, aged about 20, slumped and unconscious in a small black chair in the corner of the living room.
They picked him up and dragged him to the front door, where Mr Carey was waiting and helped by picking up his legs.
They carried the man to the front lawn, where Mr Carey and Mr Norman began CPR – at one point thinking he might not make it.
The other firefighters went back into the house because they had seen a cot and were worried a baby might be inside.
Santa’s rescue mission.
The blaze, a small kitchen fire, was quickly extinguished. By the time an ambulance arrived the man, known to neighbours only as “Wayne”, was conscious.
He remained at John Hunter Hospital in a stable condition on Sunday.
Mr Norman said the Telarah fire station was usually unmanned so it was extremely lucky they were driving past when they were.
“We all come from home if we get a fire call, so it would have taken around 10 minutes longer,” he said.
“He was unresponsive when we came across him so every second counts; it was incredibly lucky.”
Rutherford resident Michael Johnson, 66, captured footage of the brave rescue on his mobile, and the video can be seen at theherald上海龙凤419m.au.
It reveals just how serious things were when it shows one of the firies carrying out CPR saying: “We’re going to lose him”. “Without a doubt these guys saved this kid,” Mr Johnson said.
“I want people to know what an incredible job they did and how lucky this person was that they happened to be there.
“I guess you could say Santa’s come early this year.”