Quick thinking teenagers help collapse victim

Joseph Bulmer

Barnstaple girls sound the alarm after elderly man collapses in Newport.

TWO Barnstaple teenagers have been praised for their prompt action after an elderly man collapsed at a bus stop in Newport.

Laura Mitchell and Dayna Carr, both aged 15, were on their way to Park Community School on Thursday when they spotted the man, who didn’t appear to be breathing.

There was a small crowd gathered about the man, but the girls were concerned that no one appeared to be taking action and so they quickly called 999 and asked for an ambulance.

Paramedics arrived and Laura said they worked on the casualty for quite some time and it is understood they carried out CPR before taking him in the ambulance to North Devon District Hospital.

“He was not breathing,” she said, “they were pumping his chest for about half an hour before they took him to hospital.”

Dayna added: “We started walking past initially and then decided we had to go back and call the ambulance. It especially upset me because I lost my nan about four years ago.”

The Year 10 students explained to their teachers what had happened when they finally arrived at school and were so concerned that after school they went to the hospital in the hope of learning what had happened to the elderly man, but staff were unable to give them any information.

A spokesperson for the ambulance service said: “South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust wishes to thank the two Barnstaple teenagers who came to the aid of an elderly man who had collapsed in the Newport area of the town at around 8.30am on Thursday.

“It is really heart-warming to hear that these young girls on their way to school took the lead and called for an ambulance. They should be very proud of their actions.”