A FIREARMS officer who survived three cardiac arrests has praised the life-saving council workers who rushed to his aid when he collapsed in a residential street.
John Fivash was walking home along Pavilion Road, Tarring, when he lost consciousness and hit his head on a metal post as he fell.
While some pedestrians stepped around him, quick-thinking council cleansing operatives Ian Power and Adam Samuel noticed the severity of the situation when they saw that the gash on Mr Fivash’s head was not bleeding.
They asked a nearby resident to get a blanket and call an ambulance, while they made sure he was comfortable.
Mr Fivash, 60, of Bulkington Avenue, Tarring, was rushed to Worthing Hospital where he had two stents fitted in his coronary arteries.
He told the Herald: “They are the heroes of the moment. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. In a situation like that every second counts. They were on the case immediately and if they hadn’t of been I wouldn’t be here.
“It’s a selfless act. I know people walked past me probably thinking I was drunk but that wasn’t the case. I’ve been teetotal for 12 years.”
Mr Fivash also praised the paramedics, the coronary team and the nurses that cared for him during his six-day stay in hospital.
The evening before the incident Mr Fivash had played badminton with his wife but had no energy. The next morning, he went to a walk-in clinic at the hospital to have a blood test and x-ray. He was on his way home when his heart stopped.
Subsequently, the results of the tests were found to be inconclusive.
Mr Fivash recounted how he was told it was ‘virtually impossible’ that he survived.
“My doctor said if it had happened in hospital he would have given me a 50/50 chance. As it was in the street he said he would have given me less than five per cent.”
Mr Power and Mr Samuel said: “We like to think that we don’t just clean the streets as we are a public spirited bunch and would help anyone who is in distress. We are glad John has made a full recovery.”
All three men have been invited to the mayor’s parlour later today for a special thank-you tea.