A Bexley paramedic has been recognised for being "extremely courageous"  after rescuing a woman who collapsed in a fire.

London Ambulance Service Emergency Medical Technician Murray Smith was the first at the scene in his fast response car to the blaze in Thamesmead in March.

When he arrived at the town house in Lytham Close the paramedic banged on the door and shouted at six residents, including a baby, to get out- they had no idea the house was on fire.

Mr Smith, 40, who lives in Belvedere said: "I told the people downstairs to get out first and then I ran upstairs.

"They had no idea what was going on.

"I could hear a woman groaning behind the door and so once I got the OK from the control room I kicked the door down.

"The room was filled with thick black smoke so I couldn’t see much."

While Mr Smith was assessing the situation the fire brigade had arrived at the scene.

Mr Smith added: "I rushed downstairs to speak to the firefighters and one of them went upstairs with me and helped me carry her out so I could treat her and give her oxygen.

"I also unblocked her airway, she was then flown to hospital by air ambulance.

"My manager Duty Station Officer Daniel Barnwall who went down to the scene and he was the one who nominated me.

"I had no idea about it until a letter came in the post about a month ago.

"It's a great award but I was just doing my job. I was quite chuffed and shocked.

"You don't expect it, I was just doing my job that I am paid to do but it was one of the most dramatic situations I have ever been in."

Mr Barnwall added: "Murray was there on his own at first and had to act quickly and assess the risks.

"It was extremely courageous of him and by getting into the building, he gave the patient the best possible chance of survival."

Mr Smith received a Chief Executive commendation at a ceremony in Westminster on 1 May.