An off duty firefighter came to the rescue when he saw a woman who had collapsed on the side of the road.

James Gale, an on-call firefighter at Shefford Fire Station, was travelling with his wife to a family wedding and while driving along the Great North Road, near Eaton Socon, he noticed a woman, who he later discovered was Jackie Peacock, in the recovery position on the side of the road.

James said: “I could see people surrounding her and we stopped to see if I could help, as I had just recently completed my trauma care course.

“When I got to the lady it became apparent that she wasn't breathing and had no pulse. I began chest compressions and instructed another member of the public to maintain her breathing and give two breaths for every 30 compressions.

“The ambulance arrived and paramedics took over. In the time I was there I managed to get her pulse back, however, it was still irregular.

“I was so pleased to hear from Mrs Peacock and her family that she is recovering well. Even though I was not on–call at the time of the incident my role as an on-call firefighter means that I am able to use my skills at any time to serve the community in which I live and this makes me feel very proud.”

Jackie's husband, Dave, said: “We were extremely lucky that it was James who was passing through Eaton Socon at the time. His prompt action, without which the outcome could have been very different, undoubtedly saved my wife's life. This shows how much we rely on the skill and expertise of all members of the emergency services, whether off-duty or at work. James's family and colleagues must be very proud of him and we, of course, owe him a huge debt of gratitude.”

Chief fire officer, Paul Fuller, said: “We are immensely proud of James for his courageous behaviour. Our on-call firefighters offer their free time to serve the communities in which they live and regularly go above what is asked of them. We are delighted that Mrs Peacock has made a full recovery.”