Firefighter who saved footballer’s life in Crawley match gets award

From left, Michael Gaunt, Sean Ruth
From left, Michael Gaunt, Sean Ruth

An off-duty firefighter who saved a footballer’s life after he collapsed during a match in Crawley has won an award.

Michael Gaunt, 26, was awarded a Commendation Certificate from West Sussex Fire And Rescue Service’s (WSFRS) Chief Fire Officer Sean Ruth on Friday (November 13).

Mr Gaunt was playing for Forest Row FC when he performed life-saving CPR on a Stones FC player who suffered respiratory failure during a league game in January.

A WSFRS spokesman said his fire service training service kicked in straight away.

He kept the man alive until paramedics arrived and restarted his heart with a defibrillator.

The ill man, who was in his 20s, was fitted with a pacemaker in hospital.

South East Coast Ambulance Service praised Mr Gaunt’s action at the time.

Mr Ruth said at the special commendation event in WSFRS’s headquarters in Chichester: “It is a real privilege and honour for us to be able to recognise all that you have done which, in many cases, has involved putting others before yourselves.

“In one way or another you have made a difference and we are extremely grateful.”

Mr Gaunt is a retained firefighter based at London Road, East Grinstead, and works as a builder.

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