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Canal hero paramedic praised

A hero paramedic from Birmingham has been praised by bosses after plunging into a canal to save a drowning man.


A hero paramedic from Birmingham has been praised by bosses after plunging into a canal to save a drowning man.

Dennis Loughlin, originally of Woodcross in Wolverhampton, jumped into the canal off Bristol Road, near Selly Oak Railway Station, where a man was found floating face down in the water.

The man, was stranded in a section of the canal which was too deep for him to stand and it took 32-year-old Mr Loughlin, of Northfield, and a team of paramedics up to 40 minuted to get him out.

They were called to the scene at 7.50pm on Wednesday.

A rapid response vehicle, an incident support officer, an ambulance and two specialist paramedics from the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) were sent to the scene.

Mr Loughlin was first to arrive.

He said: "When I got there I saw a man floating face down in the canal. I scrambled down the embankment and then swam out to him.

"The water was too deep to stand in so my main concern was to get him turned over, which I did.

"Thankfully, he spluttered and started breathing again as soon as his mouth was clear of the water. He was clearly intoxicated, very confused and just wanted to go to sleep.

"Because the water was too deep, there was no way that I could get him out.

"Fortunately, my colleagues started arriving soon afterwards, but we were still faced with a difficult task of getting the man out as we were unsure if he was injured."

The HART team provided a specialist stretcher that could be used while the man was still in the water.

The fire service then helped get him out.

Incident Support Officer, Dave Roberts, said: "I have no doubt that Dennis will play down his part in this, but the reality is that we would definitely have been looking at a fatality had it not been for his quick actions.

"This is just the sort of thing we would expect of Dennis — he is always willing to go the extra mile to help the patients he cares for.

"Without doubt we will all tease him about the incident but deep down we know that his actions saved the man's life and for that we are very proud of him."

Mr Loughlin added: "It really was instinctive. I knew that if I didn't go into the water, the man had no chance.

"Helping a patient in such circumstances is what I do, it's my job."

The man, believed to be in his 30s, was taken to the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) on blue lights where medics were on standby for his arrival.

He is expected to make a full recovery.

Dennis, who is based at Bristol Road Ambulance Station, was also taken to the hospital for a check up. After drying off and getting a fresh uniform he continued on with his shift.

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