Stefan Taylor, who is a Firefighter on Dewsbury Fire Station’s Blue Watch, was on holiday with his young family when a near tragedy happened when a three year old boy was spotted motionless at the bottom of the resort swimming pool.
By chance Stefan happened to be nearby and his training from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service kicked into action and he started to deliver CPR to the young boy.
Two other men also came to help and it transpired by pure coincidence that they too were firefighters on their holidays!
The men had no idea at the time when they were delivering the emergency first aid that they were all firefighters from the UK.
Stefan, who was on holiday in the Hisarönü area of Turkey with his fiancée and their four children, described how the scene, on May 21st, unfolded.
He said: “I was walking round the pool with a pram and somebody spotted something in the water, in the deep end, but did not know what it was.
“The child had sunk down to the bottom of the pool but you could not make it out except for his blue shorts.
“A man picked him up and passed him over to me because I was by the edge of the pool.
“His eyes were open but he was unresponsive.
“I did not know how long he was under the pool for; my main reaction was to get some breaths into him because he was blue, so I did my five rescue breaths first.”
Stefan said that water came out of the boy’s mouth but he was still unresponsive so he asked another man to deliver the breaths whilst he gave the boy chest compressions which form part of resuscitation.
Stefan said: “I did another minute and a half and I thought to myself that I don’t think that he is coming back from this.”
One of the men went to find a defibrillator and another man took over helping Stefan with the CPR.
The boy’s family who were nearby realised what was happening and were distraught.
Stefan and the other firefighter continued working on the boy despite the panic unfolding around them.
Stefan said: “Thirty seconds later I felt a judder. I did not know what it was. The next minute he coughed and started crying. The relief of him coming back, I have never experienced that in my career. It’s a totally different experience from being at work. At least at work you know you have got people there to help you.
“When he came back it was an unbelievable feeling. I have got a two and a half year old and she is about the same size as him and I think that just made me more determined.”
Paramedics arrived at the scene and the boy was taken to hospital and has since made a full recovery from his ordeal and was able to enjoy the rest of his holiday with his family.
It was only later when the men who had helped the boy started chatting about their backgrounds that they realised they had one thing in common!
Stefan said: “I could not believe it that we were all firefighters but when I thought about it we were all working in a team like we would normally at work!”
Chief Fire Officer for WYFRS John Roberts said: “This is a truly incredible story and we are very thankful that it ended happily. It is fantastic testament to their training that despite coming from different brigades these three firefighters have sprung into action and worked seamlessly together to save a life on foreign soil.
“We always say in the Fire Service that with the skills you acquire you are never truly off duty and I think this rescue proves that to be true and is a credit to the Fire Service personnel of England and Wales.”