A RETIRED Poole man has credited the lifesaving skills he learnt as a firefighter after his neighbour collapsed.

John Chimes, 70 of Skinner Street, came to the rescue of Neil Bell, 58, after John’s wife, Sheila, heard a noise at around 11.30pm and suggested that her husband go and investigate.

It was later discovered that Neil’s blood sugar levels had dropped and he had had a hyperglycaemia, due to his diabetes.

John said: “I heard the noise again after my missus pointed it out and I realised that it was coming from next door.

“I lifted the letter box and called through it, when I saw Neil on the living room floor rolling around and making a hell of a noise.”

John called 999 and said that while he waited for the emergency services to attend, his nine years of work and training with the fire service kicked in.

“I knew that we had to get the window open, as the police wanted to break down the door, but I knew it would be costly. It was either that or we take the whole window frame out, so once the police arrived, we did that, and climbed through to find Neil on the floor.

“He was a very pale white colour and was making these noises, so I just looked after him and helped him to calm down until the ambulance crew arrived. I keep an eye on most of my neighbours, as I have done since my wife and I moved here 19 years ago. I’m glad that I had learnt the medical skills with the fire service.”

Neil said: “I’ve been diabetic for 30 years and have had hypoglycaemias before, but have always been able to ring 999 and have had sweets on me.

He added: “I’m really grateful to John. He is the most helpful and useful person to know in the area.”