Firefighter from Greetland who saved the life of a heart-attack victim on golf course is commended

Mark Taylor and Jack Fairbank
Mark Taylor and Jack Fairbank

AN off-duty firefighter who came to the rescue of one of his fellow players on a golf course and saved his life has won a commendation for his quick-thinking.

Mark Taylor, from Halifax Fire Station, was playing at Elland Golf Club when head of the well-known Calderdale rugby family Jack Fairbank suffered a heart attack and collapsed.

The firefighter, from Greetland, shouted for someone to ring 999 and immediately started administering CPR.

His reactions and continued efforts until air ambulance paramedics arrived saved Mr Fairbank’s life.

Mr Taylor said was pure fluke that they were on the same part of the course at the same time, as they just happened to have been drawn in the same round of a club friendly competition.

“It was unlucky that it happened but it’s lucky that I was there with him,” he said.

“I did what I’ve been trained to do and it was a team effort. The air ambulance and the paramedics played a big part if not bigger than what I did. I just did the bit at the beginning.”

It was only the second time that Mr Taylor, who is 39 and has been a firefighter for 10 years, had administered first aid in a real emergency situation.

Mr Fairbank, 77 and also from Greetland, said: “I feel how anyone in the same situation would feel - grateful,”

Mr Taylor’s rescue meant Mr Fairbank was able to go to his daughter’s wedding and he is now recovered but with no plans yet to return to the golf course.

Mr Taylor said he has known Jack for several years and used to play rugby with his sons.

“He’s a popular member of the golf club,” he added. “I’ve had a lot of pats on the back from people because it was Jack and a lot of people think highly of him.”

Area Manager for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Ian Bitcon said: “Mark has been able to demonstrate and use the skills that he has learnt on the job to save a life.

“Mr Fairbank is here now because of the actions of Mark.

“I’m very, very proud.”