Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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QUICK-THINKING firefighters Atherton went to the rescue of an elderly man who fell in the street and created a makeshift tent to keep him warm and dry.
The crew from Green Watch were returning to the fire station in Gloucester Street after attending an incident when they spotted a man on the floor outside a supermarket on Tyldesley Old Road shortly before 12.30pm today (Monday, December 15).
The 90-year-old man had been out to post his Christmas cards when he fell and it’s thought he had been on the ground for some time when the firefighters pulled over to assist him.
Watch Manager Ian Gardner, from Green Watch Atherton, said: “He was crossing the road and had tripped and fallen – he was conscious but was in a lot of pain.
“One of the trauma technicians on the watch gave first-aid and one of the firefighters had the idea to make a little shelter out of the salvage sheets on the fire engine to protect him.
“The man was concerned because nobody could contact his family so we found his keys and went to his house, which was only a few hundred yards away, and got a number for his daughter so we could phone her.”
He was taken to hospital with a leg injury.
Last week, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service launched its Safe4winter campaign, which this year focuses on looking out for older people who are more at risk during the winter months.
As part of the campaign we’re encouraging the public to check on elderly relatives and neighbours to make sure they are keeping warm safely.
Statistics from Age UK show that one person dies from the cold every seven minutes in the UK.
Chair of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said “This winter we are asking the public – younger people in particular – to check in on their elderly relative or neighbour and make sure they are keeping warm safely.
“The risk of dying in a fire for those aged 65 and over is more than twice as high as the average risk for all ages and the reality is that these fires can be avoided.
“First and foremost check they have a working smoke alarm, make sure electric blankets aren’t faulty or left switched on, check heaters are kept well away from flammable materials, and ensure clothing isn’t dried over fires.
“Encourage older people to keep warm safely by staying active, wrapping up, eating well and having hot drinks – and if you think someone needs support make sure you get help.”
To find out more about the campaign, visit http://www.safe4winter.com/