Off-duty firefighter receives humanitarian award

An off-duty firefighter has been commended by Royal Humane Award for saving the life of a holiday maker.

He was nominated for an award by the British Transport Police following an incident in which he helped save a person’s life.

Ash Perham, Watch Manager at London Fire Brigade was on his way to work at Dagenham and Fire Station on 24 November 2016 when he saw a number of people around a woman on the floor.

Ash said: “I went over and asked if everything was ok. A woman who I later found out was visiting from India had collapsed and as I tilted her head back, she went into cardiac arrest. I carried out CPR, skills I have gained throughout my career. A police officer brought over a defibrillator and I placed it on her. The defibrillator recommended to shock the patient which was really good as it meant there was still a chance of survival.”

Firefighter Perham was asked to continue giving CPR by the paramedics and she was stabilised before being taken to hospital. He was later informed that she made a recovery and returned home from her holiday. Ash was recommended for the award from the British Transport Police and received the honour at Drapers Hall on 19th February. He was thankful there was a defibrillator nearby,

The Firefighter/Watch Manager will retire in August next, after 30 years-service. Speaking at the awards ceremony, Ash said “I’m extremely privileged and humbled to receive this award at an amazing ceremony. In August, I will retire after 30 years-service and this is a fitting end to my career. The most important thing though is that she has survived thanks largely to having a defibrillator nearby for me to use. Every fire engine carries a defibrillator as part of the Immediate Emergency Care equipment and the more of these life-saving devises that can be easily located the better.”

A British Transport Police (BTP) spokesman said: “We’re immensely proud to have nominated Ash for this award. “He showed exceptional professionalism in savings this woman’s life, remaining calm and using the skills he’s learned over a lifelong career to ensure she had every chance of survival. We wish him the very best in his retirement.”

Ash, 50, is originally from Chingford but now lives in Alicante with his wife and twin daughters.

London Fire Brifade Dagenham Fire Station Ash Perham award
(Photo: Ash on receiving his award and Dagenham Fire Station)

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