Firefighter hero honoured for life-saving actions on his way home from shift

  • Withington firefighter saves unconscious man's life
  • Special commendation from North West Ambulance Service
  • Importance of CPR training highlighted

An off-duty firefighter has been given a special commendation after he saved a man’s life.

Watch manager Karl Grindrod had finished a night shift at Withington fire station and was driving home on the M60 when he noticed a crowd of people at the side of the motorway.

Karl quickly realised that someone was receiving CPR and pulled over to offer his help.  

The young man in question was unconscious and not breathing when Karl arrived. He took over from a member of public who was already performing chest compressions.

Karl, 36, spent nine minutes performing CPR and the man slowly began to breath by himself. An ambulance arrived soon after and the man was taken to hospital where he was treated for injuries.

Karl, who rode in the ambulance with the man, said: “I think the training just kicked in really. I have quite a high-pressure job, so I’ve always been of the attitude if I’m calm then everything else will run smoothly.” 

His certificate of recognition was made by the North West Ambulance Service.

Head of service Pat McFadden said: “Karl’s swift actions that day were extremely brave and meant that the man he helped had the best possible chance of survival.

“When someone stops breathing and goes into cardiac arrest, there’s just a few vital minutes where it is possible to save them which is why it’s crucial that members of the public are aware of how to perform CPR.”

Karl added: “It felt almost uncomfortable because I don’t do my job and I don’t do things like that for recognition. I do it just because it’s in my nature. You’re there to help people.

“It was nice to be recognised and it was nice of the station commander to put me forward. And it was nice of Pat McFadden, who I imagine is quite a busy man, to come down and present me with it.” 

Paul Etches, area manager for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue echosed Pat’s comments, saying: “Karl’s quick reaction at this incident and ability to perform this life-saving skill has undoubtedly given the casualty the best possible chance of making a full recovery.

“He went above and beyond his role as a watch manager, and he is a credit it to the fire service and himself.”