Gala woman recovering following collapse

A WOMAN who stopped breathing after collapsing during an exercise class in Galashiels was rescued by a crew of firefighters, writes Kenny Paterson.

The 42-year-old, named locally as Rachel Inglis, was soon sitting up in bed in Borders General Hospital after the dramatic incident last Wednesday, May 23.

She collapsed at around 6.30pm while taking part in the class in the Volunteer Hall.

An accident and emergency nurse was also taking part and carried out CPR before the Galashiels crew, who were returning from a fire alarm call- out, were flagged down by a female off-duty firefighter.

The crew rushed into the hall and used an emergency defibrillator from their appliance and administered oxygen on the casualty, who had stopped breathing and appeared to have no pulse.

Paramedics then arrived to take the woman to the BGH just after 6.50pm.

It later emerged that three of the crew knew Ms Inglis, two of whom had gone to school with her.

A Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said it was an unusual incident for the crew to attend but praised their actions.

She added: “Firefighters immediately went to assist the woman, as it was apparent she was in a critical condition requiring immediate intervention. They used a defibrillator on the woman, as well as giving her oxygen while they waited for ambulance crews.

“It’s incredibly fortunate that firefighters were passing at just the right moment and there is no doubt that their swift actions had a positive result for the woman who had taken ill so suddenly. We hope she makes a full recovery and wish her all the best.”