A Northampton College student has been hailed a hero having helped save the life of a pensioner having a suspected heart attack at a bus stop.
Fred Whitworth, an 18-year-old Level 3 Public Services student at Booth Lane, stepped in after spotting the 79-year-old man in distress in St Gregory’s Road, Northampton.
The man was slumped by a fence and although a passer-by had rung for an ambulance she didn’t know the address. Fred, who is an aspiring firefighter, stepped in to ring 999 and explain the situation in full, using his first aid training to assess the situation and monitor the man’s condition to the call handler.
He said: “Instinct kicked in and I knew I had to help. I could tell his speech was slurring and although his face hadn’t drooped at all he was clenching his left hand. I sat him down and tried to keep him calm.
“I knew we had a defibrillator in college so I was able to walk him and his wife, who has dementia and was understandably panicking, over to the main building so he was able to be nearer the first aiders and our equipment.
“I waited for the ambulance and keep them informed. He was then treated by the paramedics and taken to hospital. I haven’t heard any more about his condition but hopefully he is now on the road to recovery.
“It was good to be able to put into practice everything that I have been taught on the course. My training stood me in good stead and hopefully I was able to make a difference in helping save his life.”
Fred, from Daventry, is hoping to become a full-time firefighter and is confident his experience will help prepare him for similar calls he is likely to receive in the future.
He added: “Being a firefighter is more wide-ranging than ever before, you have to effectively be a paramedic as well now. It’s a big challenge but incredibly rewarding.”
Lt Col Tony Turner, a lecturer in uniformed public services at Northampton College, praised Fred for his quick-thinking.
He said: “By doing what he did Fred probably saved this man’s life. It’s superb that Fred had the confidence to deal with the situation from the training given to him. He’s a real hero.”