Bromley firefighters commended for saving Salvation Army officer Stephen Gowler's life

Stephen Gowler (second from front left) is pleased the life saving Bromley firefighters received a commendation

Stephen Gowler (second from front left) is pleased the life saving Bromley firefighters received a commendation

First published in Bromley News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter covering Croydon

WATCHING firefighters get a commendation certificate was an emotional occasion for the man whose life they saved after he had a heart attack in front of Bromley fire station.

Stephen Gowler was making his way home from a shift as a Relate relationship counsellor in January when he collapsed in South Street, Bromley.

Blue watch firefighters were training in their yard nearby and grabbed their defibrillator when they saw him fall to the ground.

The machine gave him a cardiac shock and the crews continued doing first aid until an ambulance arrived to take him to hospital.

Mr Gowler, of Alexandra Crescent, Bromley, said: “I do not remember what happened, all I know is that the firefighters saved my life.

“They are a part of my family’s life as they saved my life and it was good to see them being recognised for what they have done.

“They would say they were only doing what they were trained to do and their duty but when my family and I remember what happened those firemen will always be in our thoughts.”

The 59-year-old Salvation Army officer added: “It is quite sobering to think the chance of having a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital and surviving is very small.

“It is their prompt action that saved me and that is quite a sobering thought.”

The firefighters were awarded their commendation certificate by the London Assembly member for Bexley and Bromley James Cleverly and Safer Bromley Partnership chairman Councillor Tim Stevens.

Cllr Stevens said: “I was very touched by Mr Gowler’s story and want to thank the fire team personally.

“I am proud of the service they give here in Bromley and for their commitment to partnership working.”

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