WHILE on holiday this summer, a firefighter who works at Farnworth Community Fire Station saved a little girl’s life – all thanks to training undertaken while working for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.
Firefighter Adam Tormey was enjoying his family holiday and was at a theme park on the afternoon of June 21 when a girl started to choke.
Adam, who became a firefighter in 2015, said: “The incident took place at about 2pm at Flambards Theme Park in Helston, Cornwall. We had just had lunch and I was walking towards the rides with my four- year-old son, with my wife and daughter following about 50 metres behind. I heard my wife shout my name so I called back. A few moments later she shouted again and I heard her say ‘child choking’.
“I ran towards her and as I turned the corner a man pretty much threw his daughter, who I think was around three of four-years-old, into my arms. I had a quick look at her face - her lips were blue and her eyes were rolling back in her head. Her body was limp and she wasn’t breathing.
“I turned her body to face the floor, started giving her back-slaps between the shoulder blades, and asked that someone call an ambulance. On my fourth attempt I could see I was getting some results as she started to bring up some of the blockage onto the floor, so I decided to carry on with back-slaps rather than switch to abdominal thrusts.
“After a few more back-slaps a huge chunk of ice lolly came up and went on my feet. She started gasping for air and crying, which was a good sign. I set her back on the floor and held her steady for a moment, she seemed dazed but her colour was returning.
“I suggested to her mum that she pick her up for a cuddle. We spoke for a short while and both parents were a bit shook up by the whole thing, but the girl was looking much better and everything was beginning to calm down. I told them that they need to take her to the hospital to get her checked out and make sure she is okay, just to be on the safe side.”
Adam says that the training and experiences gained through working at GMFRS, in both his previous prevention role and his current role of firefighter, helped him to deal with the incident.
Adam continued: “The training and experience I have received through the fire service definitely helped me with dealing with the little girl choking. When I worked in prevention I trained as a Heartstart instructor in 2012, and have taught basic life support regularly since then.
“In 2015 I became a firefighter, when we received two weeks trauma training - which is maintained through regular watch based training and attendance at incidents. I am currently waiting on a trauma technician course as this is an aspect of the role I have a keen interest in, which my watch manager has been happy to support.”
Councillor David Acton, Chair of the Fire Committee, said: “Clearly Adam did a tremendous job to save the little girl’s life and I pay tribute to him.
“It is great to hear that the training provided by GMFRS helps its staff members to have the skills and the confidence to deal with this kind of situation, which many would be daunted by, both inside and outside of work.”