Miles paramedics Tony Stout (left) and Chris Grimes’ friendship has strengthened after Mr Stout saved Mr Grimes from drowning.
Miles paramedics Tony Stout (left) and Chris Grimes’ friendship has strengthened after Mr Stout saved Mr Grimes from drowning.

Drowning ambo saved by boss

EMPLOYEE relations at Miles Ambulance Station have risen to a new level after paramedic Chris Grimes was saved from drowning by his boss Tony Stout.

Mr Grimes was enjoying a swim with his family and friends, who included Mr Stout, in Lake Hugh Muntz at the Gold Coast on December 21 when he collapsed in the water.

The 40-year-old said he was about a month into chemotherapy treatment for bowel cancer when the incident occurred.

"I was in the lake with the kids just talking to Tony," Mr Grimes said.

Mr Stout, who is officer-in-charge at Miles Ambulance Station, said he initially didn't realise his mate was in trouble.

"I just thought he had duck dived," Mr Stout said

However, Mr Grimes believes he had fainted.

It was not long before Mr Grimes' wife Leanne questioned whether her husband was alright.

They realised he was in serious trouble and dragged him to the shore where Mr Stout began CPR.

Though he cannot recall the incident, Mr Grimes said he had breathed in water which contributed to him going into ventricular fibrillation arrest, a form of heart attack.

Mr Grimes' family, including his three young children, watched on as Mr Stout tried to revive their father.

A bronze medallion surf lifesaver who was coincidentally in the area came to his aid.

It was an emotionally intense task.

"I said 'you're not going to go two days before Christmas, not with your family here'," Mr Stout said.

"We worked on him for seven minutes until the ambulance arrived."

A defibrillator was used at the scene to shock Mr Grimes' heart into a regular rhythm before he was rushed to Gold Coast Hospital.

He has since undergone tests to determine the cause of the faint which have proved inconclusive.

"Everything is healthy; it was just a quirk of nature."

He is not due to return to work while he is undergoing chemotherapy treatment until at least the end of April.

When he does it will be with a renewed respect for his boss.

"I just can't thank him enough."

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