A FEMALE college worker has praised firefighters who saved her life by dashing across the road from their station after she suffered a heart attack at work.

Melanie Smith survived after a colleague at Inverness College, University of the Highlands and Islands, summoned help after he realised more specialist help was needed to administer first aid.

Firefighters Cher Pumphrey, David Main, David Dugdale and Michael MacMillan, raced across and used their experience and training to help her.

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The men then travelled with Ms Smith, Head of Research & Postgraduate Development, to the city's Raigmore Hospital, while Melanie continued to receive life-saving treatment. She was taken to the intensive care unit and spent a number of weeks in hospital.

Now having returned to work following the incident last November, Ms Smith has paid a visit to the fire station to thank them.

She said: "I'd like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone involved. I am so lucky to be alive, and this is entirely down to the quick thinking and fast actions of all concerned on the day. Incidents like this highlight the importance of up to date first aid training, and I hope my experience will encourage more people to learn this vital skill."

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service's Local Senior Officer for Highland, Scott Hay, paid tribute to his officers' professionalism, adding that a "combination of their training, experience and ability to respond under pressure in an emergency situation undoubtedly contributed to saving Ms Smith's life."