AN ALSTONVILLE man has been commended for brave conduct after saving the life of a security guard who was trapped on an electrified fence at the Lismore Greyhound Track on December 29, 2009.
James Patterson, a race day manager at the track, watched from his car as Lismore father of four Scott Farraway locked the boundary gates about 10.30pm after the night's racing program.
As he waited for Mr Farraway to finish his duties, Mr Patterson saw a flash arc across the fence, followed by electrical sparks and flames.
He raced from his car to help the security guard, who was stuck to the metal fence.
Without any protective gear and despite the danger to his own safety, Mr Patterson pulled Mr Farraway from the fence.
He felt a buzz surge through his own body.
Resting Mr Farraway on the ground, he quickly started doing CPR.
Mr Patterson also called the ambulance and continued to treat Mr Farraway until he was revived and resumed breathing.
After the incident, Mr Farraway's family told The Northern Star that Mr Patterson was “very brave” and that the situation “could have been much worse” if he had not been there.
Mr Farraway, after hearing about Mr Patterson's commendation for brave conduct, said it was “very deserved”.
“He definitely deserves it,” he said.
“It was pot luck that Jim was working that night and that he waited for me to lock up.
“If it wasn't for him, I'd be in a box.”
After the incident, Mr Farraway was taken to the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane with a severely damaged shoulder from the “freak accident”.
This was followed by surgery and a long period of rehabilitation.
“I feel all right now,” the 38-year-old said.
“I was back at work within two months and I got most of the movement back after 12 months.
“It was pretty serious.
“I remember that it happened, and then I remember waking up on the ground.
“We were both just lucky, because James got zapped himself.”
Mr Patterson is one of 59 people across Australia who will today be honoured with a commendation for brave conduct by Governor-General Quentin Bryce.
Nine people will receive bravery medals and there will be six group bravery citations.
“Today's announcement of national bravery awards recognises the heroic actions of those amongst us who have placed the safety and lives of others before their own,” Ms Bryce said.
“We are privileged to have such role models in our society.”
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