South Yorkshire volunteer is a real life-saver

Gary Dunford
Gary Dunford
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A South Yorkshire ambulance volunteer has been shortlisted for an award in recognition of his life-saving efforts.

Gary Dunford is St John Ambulance’s divisional officer for the Dearne Valley and has served for almost 30 years.

The 42-year-old, who once rescued a football fan who suffered a heart attack, is shortlisted for the volunteer of the year prize at the first-aid charity’s everyday hero awards.

Gary, who was inspired to join up after undergoing two kidney transplants, said: “I’ve been in situations where I’ve not been able to breathe and want to do as much as I can to make sure others don’t experience that.

“I wanted to give something back and the reward is knowing someone’s made it because of you.”

The football supporter he saved was initially convinced he had bronchitis, instead of a potentially fatal heart attack.

Gary said: “When I questioned him, he said his left wrist was aching.

“I immediately put him in a carrier chair, gave him oxygen and got him to the first-aid post where he was given emergency treatment.

“He made a full recovery, but if I hadn’t recognised those symptoms, it could have been quite different.”

The awards ceremony is in London on March 26.