AN OFF-duty firefighter heroically saved the life of a woman who “appeared to be dead on the ground” after being hit by a bus.

Firefighter Paul Dibble, based at Grays Fire Station, has received a Chief Fire Officer Commendation for his life-saving actions earlier this year. 

In February Paul stopped while off duty to help a pedestrian who had suffered a fractured skull, severe facial injuries and broken bones in her back after being hit by a bus at the junction of Stanley and Clarence Road in Grays.

Little did Paul know at the time of the incident that he was helping to save the life of 21-year-old, Amy Jones, whose mum and dad are both former Essex County Fire and Rescue employees.

Amy's dad, retired firefighter Mike Jones, said: "Amy suffered horrendous injuries and appeared to be dead on the ground.

“Off duty Firefighter Paul Dibble was in a passing vehicle and stopped to offer assistance. He immediately performed lifesaving procedures which got Amy breathing and cleared her throat.

"Without his actions Amy would no longer be with us. After two weeks in hospital, she made a good recovery and although was still in some discomfort at that time.”

Mike added: "This has been an emotional and stressful time for our family and the outcome could have been the very worst, but thanks to Paul we have our daughter.

"We never imagined that a firefighter would be so instrumental in saving our daughter’s life."

Firefighter Paul Dibble said: "I’m just so pleased to see Amy looking so well and back to herself.

"If it wasn't for the trauma training, we receive from our service, I know the outcome may have become very different.

CFO Rick Hylton said: "It was a great honour to present Paul with his award. He has shown what an asset our firefighters are in their communities, even when off duty. His quick thinking, calm actions, and medical training undoubtedly saved Amy’s life that day. Well done, Paul."

Amy’s mother Alison Jones is a former control operator for the service.