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Home > News > News releases > September 2021 > Duke of Cambridge praises firefighters for lifesaving actions

Duke of Cambridge praises firefighters for lifesaving actions

09 September 2021

James, Charlotte, Lila and Marc
James, Charlotte, Lila and Marc

Two of Kent’s on-call firefighters have been praised by HRH The Duke of Cambridge for their efforts to save the life of five-year-old Lila Page from Rainham.

Firefighter James Knight and Watch Manager Marc Rustage, alongside ambulance technician Charlotte Speers, were reunited with Lila and her mum today (9 September), as special guests of The Duke on Emergency Services Day at Dockhead Fire Station in London. 

On 12 March last year, the trio jumped into action while off duty, when Lila collapsed and stopped breathing at The Railway pub.

After hearing screams across the room they rushed over to help, carried out CPR and accessed a defibrillator from Rainham fire station over the road. 

Lila was successfully resuscitated, and handed into the care of South East Coast Ambulance Service paramedics. Following further treatment and tests, it was discovered that Lila has a heart condition. She has since had surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital and is doing very well.

On-call Firefighter James Knight said: “Marc and I are really grateful to be recognised for our role in helping Lila that day, and it has been an honour to be praised by The Duke of Cambridge for our work. We did just what any of our blue light colleagues would do in that situation - we’ll always help people where we can, that’s why we joined the fire service.

“We’re over the moon that Lila has made a full recovery, and it was a joy to meet her in much happier circumstances today.”

HRH The Duke of Cambridge, Lila and James
HRH The Duke of Cambridge, Lila and James

Ann Millington, Chief Executive of Kent Fire and Rescue Service said: “Every day I am incredibly proud of the lifesaving work of our crews alongside their other blue light colleagues.

“On duty or off duty, my colleagues will always use their skills and compassion to help others - like in the case of little Lila. I’m thrilled she has made an excellent recovery.”

Marc, James and Charlotte will receive a special award for their actions at South East Coast Ambulance Service’s annual staff awards ceremony in October.

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