Stranger helps save baby thanks to urgent first-aid app in France

The man showed up in pyjamas and flip-flops to the house, where a baby was having a heart attack

A view of an ambulance with blue lights
Guillaume rushed to the baby’s aid before the emergency services were able to get there
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A baby in cardiac arrest was saved by a quick-thinking volunteer firefighter in northwest France after he followed advice on a first aid app on his smartphone, it has emerged.

Three-month-old Aëlia suffered a heart attack, and her mother, Ivy Dagnino, was frantically trying to administer first aid while being guided by an emergency call worker on the telephone.

Her mother told FranceInfo: “[At the time of her heart attack], I was holding her, and she let out a very unusual scream, and then she seemed to be asleep.”

But after a few minutes, a black car drove up to the house in Combourg (Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany), and a man in pyjamas and flip-flops got out and began administering first aid to Aëlia. His actions saved her life while paramedics were on their way to the house.

Ms Dagnino said: “A black car rushed up to our house and Guillaume got out. I could see that he was a professional, but he didn't arrive in uniform…he was wearing flip-flops.”

Guillaume is a care worker and volunteer firefighter who lives just 1km away, and he was alerted to the emergency via the ‘Staying Alive’ app on his phone. The app enables people to sign up to receive alerts, and is connected to firefighters and SAMU services in 80 departments.

Guillaume said: “I got the alert. I didn’t think about it, I got on the road and rushed to their house. I was on autopilot. I said to myself, ‘I know what to do, I have to go while we wait for the emergency services’.”

Aëlia has since had an operation on her heart and is doing well.

The app, which has been downloaded more than one million times, alerts people who are trained in first aid within a 2 km radius to a heart attack or other major emergency, so they can attend the scene if they are able to help. It lets out a loud alert if someone needs help.

As well as alerting registered individuals, it also shows locations of heart defibrillators. It currently has more than 300,000 subscribers.

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