A Geraldton man is alive today thanks to the vigilance of a Housing Authority maintenance contractor.
The 68-year-old man, a tenant of a 15-unit seniors’ complex, was overcome by gas in his unit.
Chris Clohessy, a plumber and gasfitter with Pindan, Housing’s head maintenance contractor in the region, raised the alarm.
Chris visited the tenant’s unit on the morning of 30 August to see to a routine maintenance job. The tenant opened the door but then closed it on Chris without letting him in.
This is not an unusual occurrence, and Chris followed Housing’s standard procedure, leaving a calling card and moving on to his next scheduled job.
Chris returned to the unit later that morning and again tried to gain access. The tenant was still home, but Chris noticed that he seemed very confused and disorientated.
It was at this point that a concerned Chris raised the alarm, initially with Pindan's branch administrator.
Housing subsequently called the tenant’s daughter about her father, and local police were ultimately 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. A gas leak was found, due to a stove not being turned off properly.
The tenant spent one week in hospital but is now well recovered.
Housing’s regional manager for the Mid West, Miranda Rounsevell, said Chris not only saved the tenant but potentially saved the rest of the residents in the complex.
“If the situation was not detected sooner a fire or explosion might have resulted,” Ms Rounsevell said.
“The situation had potentially fatal consequences, but some clear thinking by Chris averted that.
“The welfare of our tenant was foremost in his mind, and we commend him for his attitude in this situation.
“He’s gone above and beyond his job and putting safety first.
“Our tenant’s daughter also offered her appreciation and gratitude saying that the police told her that if no one had intervened when they did, her father would not have survived.”