Award for Bideford life saver

Helen Freeman

Helen Freeman - Credit: Archant

Local woman to receive Royal Humane Society accolade after rushing to help a man who collapsed in the street.

A Bideford woman who saved the life of a man in the street is to receive an award for her prompt and unselfish actions.

Helen Freeman will be presented with a Royal Humane Society resuscitation award on Friday, May 3 in recognition of her efforts on behalf of a total stranger.

The 45-year-old was just settling her daughter to bed on June 12 last year when she heard noises and screaming in the street.

The Barnstaple St John Ambulance member went outside intending to ask them to be quiet, but was instead confronted with a man collapsed against a wall and ‘turning blue’ as his companions attempted to give him CPR.


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Helen’s training took over and she did not hesitate to run across in her nightshirt and take over.

The casualty wasn’t breathing and Helen administered CPR for three minutes, before a neighbour who is a fireman came to lend hand.

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When a South Western Ambulance Service first responder paramedic and the police arrived, Helen continued to help, setting up oxygen for the casualty while they worked on him.

The man, who has not been named, remained unconscious for a week, but eventually recovered from his ordeal.

“It was the first time I had used my CPR training to save a life and I was very proud that I did,” she said.

“I heard from the police that the man was now fine and gave them a message to thank me.”

Helen will receive her award at a Devon and Cornwall Constabulary presentation night in Saltash next week, after being nominated by a local police officer.

Chief Inspector Toby Davies paid tribute to Helen’s actions and said the police had been very impressed: “She should be immensely proud for her quick thinking and her ability to put her training into practise, which no doubt saved this man’s life,” he said.

“She didn’t hesitate to step in to help a stranger in the street and she has done an amazing job.”

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