THE swift actions of two refuse workers helped save the life of a man who collapsed in his garden.
Matt Preston and Steve Frame are part of Chichester’s green waste collection team and were on their rounds when they found the man.
The pair, who were in Harberton Crescent, rushed to the man’s aid and found him unconscious, but still breathing.
Matt, a former healthcare worker, took over. He checked his breathing, then called 999. They laid their jackets over the man and followed the instructions from the emergency call centre until the ambulance arrived.
Steve said: ‘We’d reversed into the road and we noticed a bin was on its side in the garden and we thought “what’s going on here?”
‘As we got closer we saw a gentleman lying on the ground behind it in a star shape. From a distance we couldn’t see him, it was only as we got closer that we realised there was someone there.’
Paramedics had to insert a tube to help the man breathe. They also had to cut off the man’s clothes, which Matt and Steve then moved so as not to worry the man’s wife.
‘We decided to move the clothes because otherwise his wife would have arrived home, wondered what had happened and been really worried,’ explained Matt.
The pair were careful to make sure the garage and the house were locked. Matt and Steve went to ask neighbours to find out how they could contact the man’s wife, but they were unable to get contact details. Instead, they called through to the Chichester District Council depot to check their details. They were able to find out the name of the couple which meant the emergency services could contact the man’s wife.
Steve said: ‘We were there for about half an hour. The paramedics used our jackets to support the man when he was put into the recovery position and when the man was placed on the stretcher we helped them get him into the ambulance.’
After spending nine days in hospital the householder spoke to let them know he was recovering.
Rod Darton, head of contract services at the council, said: ‘Matt and Steve are a real credit to their community and went above and beyond. Their quick-thinking actions saved this man’s life.’