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Published 16th Jun 2011

Paul Thompson with the toddler

The quick-thinking actions of a Middlesbrough bin man out on his rounds helped save a child’s life.

Paul Thompson was one of a three-man crew working their regular route last Thursday when the drama unfolded.

Just after 11am on Thursday, June 9 a distraught woman emerged from a house in Melsonby Avenue, Netherfields, carrying an apparently lifeless child.

The two-year-old girl was unconscious and had turned blue, and the distressed mother handed the child to Mr Thompson, begging him to help.

The 34-year-old immediately took charge of the situation, calling an ambulance and getting someone to take care of the stricken toddler’s mother.

After laying the baby on his knee and checking its airways, he managed to get her breathing before an ambulance crew arrived on the scene.

The paramedics took over and took the child to James Cook University Hospital before she was later released.

Mr Thompson, who returned to work later the same day, said: “I was quite shocked when the woman came out of the house and the child did not look in a good way at all.

“Then instinct just kicked in – we’re all taught first aid, and it just came to me automatically that I needed to make sure the little girl’s airways were clear.

“I’d like to think I just did what anyone would do – but I’m pleased to have been able to help and delighted that the child is alive and well.”

Middlesbrough Council Chief Executive Ian Parker said: “This was clearly a terrifying situation which could have ended in tragedy.

“I can only commend Paul for calmly assessing what needed to be done and almost certainly saving this child’s life.

“He can rightly be proud of himself and the family owe him a debt of gratitude.”

Mr Parker confirmed Paul would be nominated for a Royal Humane Society award for his life-saving actions.

A spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service said: “We were called to an address in Middlesbrough on Thursday, June 9 following a 999 call reporting a child who had slipped into unconsciousness.

“This was a Category A call – the child was still unconscious when the crew arrived and was taken to the James Cook University Hospital for treatment.

“Paul’s quick reactions at the scene show just how important even basic first aid skills can be.

“The North East Ambulance Service would encourage anyone who gets the opportunity to attend a first aid course to do so.”




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