A DUNFERMLINE firefighter led a team from the International Fire and Rescue Association on a training mission in Paraguay – and ended up saving a life.

Davie Kay, director of the IFRA, travelled to South America last month with colleagues Stevie Young, Billy Mackenzie and Kenny Forbes for their 59th training venture to one of 19 countries they assist worldwide.

The team from the IFRA, Scotland's biggest fire service charity that provides equipment, vehicles and training around the globe, were working in the new firefighting training academy in Luque, approximately 14 kilometres from the capital Asunción, when they sprang into action after a worker on a construction site next door had been struck by a JCB boon arm.

The worker had been on a tractor and was hit on the legs, causing him to fall underneath the vehicle and suffer severe bleeding, before the IFRA team ran to his aid.

Davie said: "The fire service in Paraguay is totally volunteer-based and we have been assisting them since 2004. Our training mission on this occasion focused on rope rescue and firefighting and, in the first week, we were working in the academy. It is in quite a remote area on a main road and next door is a construction site, and two of the team were on the practice tower when someone ran into the training area saying that there had been an accident and they needed firefighters. A worker had been knocked off a tractor and our two firefighters, Stevie and Billy, collected some basic equipment and responded.

"They found a JCB boon arm had struck his legs and he had fallen off the tractor. The worker was bleeding badly from his leg and had crush injuries but the team took charge, using their Scottish Fire Service training.

"They suspected he had a broken leg and, normally, you wouldn't move a patient in that situation.

"But he had be moved before they could assess him so, using rope rescue equipment, they managed to get him clear and await the arrival of the ambulance. Once they handed over to the ambulance crew they continued with their training. He had two punctured legs but is recovering in hospital.

"The guys took the lead and I'm immensely proud of them because, in effect, they saved this guy's life. The swift actions of the team in providing immediate assistance and care show the invaluable work IFRA carry out worldwide."

The IFRA, which began in 2001 after Davie travelled to Bosnia on a medical aid convoy, have so far had more than 200 members serve throughout the world and have sent 83 vehicles from fire engines and ambulances to specialist height and rescue vehicles.