A paramedic in rural Victoria, Australia, saved his own life by taking immediate action when he realised that he was having a heart attack.

52-year-old David Watson, who has worked as a paramedic for more than two decades, noticed a sharp pain in his chest while warming up for a workout.

He was the only paramedic on duty in the small town of Casterton, about 360km (223 miles) west of Melbourne, when the crushing chest pain started accompanied by tingling in both arms and profuse sweating.

He told Australian radio 3AW Breakfast that he immediately recognised that he was suffering from "tell-tale signs of some kind of cardiac event." "I quickly rushed in, grabbed the heart monitor from the ambulance, put myself on it and thought, uh oh, that's not right," he said.

When Watson saw that his heart rate was abnormal on the electrocardiograph (ECG) machine, he drove himself 100 metres in the ambulance to Casterton hospital and asked the doctors to airlift him to Geelong hospital for surgery.

Doctors put him on anticoagulants and removed a large clot from his coronary artery, which had caused a massive heart attack.

"They removed the clot, put in the stent, did all the angiogram stuff and then straight into the ward," Watson said, who was told by doctors that he was "lucky to be alive."

He will be taking two months off to recover.