Tameside teenagers use first aid training after man collapses

Date Released - 21/10/2022

FOUR Tameside teenagers have been praised for their quick-thinking actions after rushing to the aid of an unconscious man.

The Alder Community High School pupils showed the value of first aid training when they helped Andy Jones after he had suffered a seizure and collapsed.

Year 10 pupils Jake Cookson, Logan Fuller, Sam Willerton and James Leader, were reunited with Andy at a special meeting where they were praised by their headteacher Richard O’Regan and Tameside Council Executive Member for Education, Councillor Leanne Feeley.

On Thursday, 6 October, Andy was walking his dog along the Trans Pennine Trail, close to Waverley Road, Gee Cross, Hyde, when he began to feel unwell. It’s believed the 47-year-old suffered a seizure and tumbled onto a disused railway track.

Two of the boys placed Andy in the recovery position and provided first aid while the other two called an ambulance and went to the street to meet paramedics and direct them to the casualty. They also cared for Andy’s anxious dog, retrieved and returned his mobile phone, keys and money that had been scattered when he fell, and stayed with him until he was safe.

The father-of-one spent the night at Tameside Hospital but subsequent tests and scans have given him the all clear. He later tracked the boys down to thank them personally and give them all a reward.

Andy, a floor layer, said: “It was straight out of the blue and was a shock. It’s all a bit of a blur. It’s very lucky that someone was there and as quickly as they were. If it wasn’t for the lads I hate to think how long I could have been there.

“Kids get a bad reputation these days and I wanted to thank them and when I met them they were all top kids. I will always be indebted to them for what they did for me. They deserve credit.

“I am first aid trained myself, and have said before this incident on numerous occasions that I think basic first aid should be part of the national curriculum from the earliest age possible.”

The pupils did their first aid training through the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, facilitated by the school.

All four were presented with their Altruism Badge by Mr O’Regan, who said: “I’m extremely proud of Jake, Logan, Sam and James, whose actions embody the ethos of the school. They showed quick thinking and stayed calm under pressure to use their first aid skills and alert the emergency services. They acted in such a caring and compassionate way to ensure that Andy was safe and I’m delighted that he has recovered.

“Our school encourages first aid training through the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and this incident shows how valuable this is and how well these pupils retained their training.”

Councillor Feeley said: “Jake, Logan, Sam and James are a real credit to their school. It was a pleasure to meet them and thank them on behalf of Tameside for their quick actions which could have prevented a much more serious outcome. Thank goodness they were there and able to act so calmly and carefully.

“It just goes to show the value of learning first aid, you never know when it might be needed and, as in this case, it can prove vital.”