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Air crash saviours praised
John De'Laney and Marc van Reenen with St. John's Nigel Lifford, centre. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian

Reunited at the site of the horrific accident that brought them together, John De'Laney and Nigel Lifford acted like old friends.

About six weeks ago, Mr De' Laney, a former emergency nurse, and Mr Lifford, a forklift driver and long-time volunteer, worked together with nothing but a first aid kit to try to save two aviation enthusiasts after a fiery crash at Lakelands Reserve in South Lake.

Pilot Tony White and his passenger Ralph Lerch crashed shortly after leaving Jandakot airport. Both are still in Royal Perth Hospital. Mr White is in a stable condition and Mr Lerch is critical but stable.

St John Ambulance area manager Marc van Reenen praised Mr De'Laney and Mr Lifford's efforts, saying they were brave to assist in such dangerous circumstances.

"That they jumped up, ran in and helped will definitely make a difference in the end," he said.

The men were given first aid kits to mark their good work and will be nominated for St John community hero awards this year.

Mr De'Laney does not see himself a hero but stressed the importance of knowing first aid.

"As an emergency nurse, I was trained to deal with those traumas," he said. "The real heroes are people like Nigel who chipped into a situation most people without medical training would never see."

The West Australian

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