A bin crew proved to be a fourth emergency service when they rescued a man from his burning home in Ashton.
The Tameside Council crew - Lee Hewitt, Anthony Hibbert and Stephen Rhodes – were working on a street last week when they noticed smoke coming from a house.
The crew went to the rear of the property to investigate and found the back door to be ajar.
When they pushed the door open, they found a man collapsed on the floor, struggling for breath and suffering from smoke inhalation.
They carried the man to safety before calling the fire and ambulance services. They also evacuated a family from a neighbouring property.
Three fire engines from Stalybridge, Mossley and Ashton-under-Lyne fire stations rushed to the house.
On arrival, fire crews discovered a fire involving a sofa on the ground floor and used two breathing apparatus, one hose reel, one positive pressure ventilation fan, a pop up pool, a Honeywell gas detector and a thermal imaging camera to extinguish the fire and check for fire spread.
Paramedics from North West Ambulance Service attended to the resident, who was suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation. Crews were in attendance for two hours and 35 minutes.
Tameside Council Director of Operations and neighbourhoods Ian Saxon said: “The crew’s swift and brave actions most probably saved this man’s life. Their selfless dedication is a reflection of how our frontline staff are an integral part of the community, often going above and beyond their roles to make a positive difference to local people’s lives. They make me feel very proud of our colleagues.”
GMFRS Group Manager for Stockport and Tameside Phil Nelson said: “This incident could have had deadly consequences if it were not for the quick thinking of the bin crew on that morning. Not only did they help the resident from the property but by alerting us to the fire we were able to respond quickly and extinguish the fire before more damage was done.
“If you do come across a fire at home, remember to get out, stay out and call 999 –don't try to tackle the fire yourself . This incident is a reminder that we all need to be careful at home and consider what we can do to keep ourselves safe from fire, such as installing smoke alarms throughout our properties. You can find more information on fire safety at home on our website.”