A PARAMEDIC from Greenock has saved his dad's life after being called out when he suffered a heart attack at home.

Grandad John Gallacher raised the alarm after falling seriously unwell at his Holmscroft Way home.

Within minutes his son John Paul - who was on shift at the Greenock station at the time - had the blue lights flashing and was on the scene to rescue his patient.

He then rushed his dad up the M8 to the Golden Jubilee Hospital for specialist care.

After receiving emergency treatment and having stents fitted, John is remarkably already back on his feet.

The 72-year-old, who was himself an ambulance technician, today paid tribute to his son and all the other NHS frontline staff who have served on the frontline during the pandemic.

John, who lives in Holmscroft Way in Greenock, said: "I knew I was in safe hands.

"John Paul is a brilliant paramedic.

"I worked in the ambulance service for 40 years myself and we worked in the same station for a long time.

"But this is the first time I have ever been a patient and it really opened my eyes, seeing it from the other side.

"The NHS really is incredible.

"I know first hand how hard it has been for John Paul and the ambulance crews during the pandemic.

"They have continued to see patients and save lives throughout this and they are remarkable.

"That is why I want to say thanks, I want them to get the recognition they deserve."

John, a dad of six, retired seven years ago after decades in the ambulance service, first as a technician saving people's lives and then as a national shop steward fighting to improve the service.

When he suddenly fell unwell a week past Saturday he immediately called for help.

He added: "I knew what was going on but it was very scary.

"I've never really been unwell in my life, so it came as a shock."

Forty-nine-year-old John Paul followed in his dad's career footsteps and has been a paramedic for 24 years, serving his own community.

But he admits that being called to his dad's rescue was one of his biggest challenges.

The Greenock team leader said: "When I was on my way to the house lots of things were going through my head.

"But once I was there I just went into autopilot and did my job.

"Dad was a great patient and he was very calm.

"I followed all the usual procedures and when I phoned in to the Golden Jubilee I told the doctor it was my dad.

"They asked if I was okay to continue and I said yes.

"I think it was meant to be.

"I was on a four day shift, but the day it happened was the only day I was on the ambulances."

On arrival at the Clydebank hospital John Paul immediately handed his dad over to the heart specialists on hand.

He had three stents fitted and was kept in hospital for three nights, including one at Inverclyde Royal, while he was monitored.

John said: "I now have follow up appointments and I am being well looked after."

Now the retired ambulanceman is back on his feet and has returned to his role at the Regent Social Club, which he has run with long time friend Billy Clenaghan for 40-odd years.

His son told the Tele: "Now I hope he will listen to someone apart from me telling him to slow down and take it easy!"

Both father and son are devoted to the community which they have served so well.

John Paul said: "It is the best job you could do, no two days are ever the same.

"The best part of the job is speaking to the patients, I love getting all the stories from the older people.

"It has been difficult during Covid, the ambulance service has been under huge pressure and the call handlers have had a difficult job because the demand is so high.

"I think it has been the same for everyone in the NHS.

"But we are a great team in Greenock."

His dad John added: "It is a privilege to work in this community, everyone knows you and you become part of people's lives."