Lifesaving action praised

Matt WoodleyGeraldton Guardian
Lifesaver Chris Clohessy with Kate Hyatt, Branch Administrator at Pindan Asset Management.
Camera IconLifesaver Chris Clohessy with Kate Hyatt, Branch Administrator at Pindan Asset Management.

A Housing Authority maintenance contractor went above and beyond the call of duty to save the life of a stricken Geraldton tenant.

A routine maintenance job at a seniors’ complex quickly turned into a life or death situation when Chris Clohessy, a plumber and gasfitter by trade, found a 68-year-old man confused and disorientated on arrival at his unit.

“I saw that the door was open and the old fella was standing there looking a little bit spaced, ” he said.

“I’ve been to that property before with him and he was quite fine that time, and always kept the property nice and tidy so ... I wasn’t really sure, but it looked like he needed to be checked up on.”

Mr Clohessy was denied entry to the premises by the man but, concerned by what he had observed during their short interaction, he decided to raise the alarm with his branch administrator.

The Housing Authority called the tenant’s daughter and local police were called to conduct a welfare check.

When police arrived, they entered and found the tenant unconscious on the floor of his unit suffering from gas inhalation after a stove had not been turned off properly.

Mr Clohessy was quick to play down his role in the lifesaving intervention, but did say he had been contacted by the family, who were extremely grateful for what he had done.

“They were all very appreciative that I had taken the time to get someone to check up, ” he said.

“I didn’t really think I did too much.

“I just alerted people.

“I thought it was just lucky we had a job to go around and do for him that day.”

The tenant spent a week in hospital but is now well recovered.

Housing Authority Mid West regional manager Miranda Rounsevell said Mr Clohessy had not only saved the tenant but potentially the rest of the residents in the complex.

“If the situation was not detected sooner, a fire or explosion might have resulted, ” she said.

“The situation had potentia-lly fatal consequences, but some clear thinking by Chris averted that.”

While Mr Clohessy had not been out to the seniors’ complex since the incident, he said he would definitely stop in and say “hello” next time he had a job there.

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