Councillor in ‘right place at right time’

Photo Neil Cross Councillor Roy Leeming saved a man's life while he was out canvassing in  Fulwood, Preston,
Photo Neil Cross Councillor Roy Leeming saved a man's life while he was out canvassing in Fulwood, Preston,
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A councillor canvassing for votes found himself at the centre of a life-or-death drama.

Roy Leeming, who was door-knocking in part of Fulwood, Preston, was in the “right place at the right time”, when a man collapsed and needed urgent help.

Coun Leeming was able to carry out chest compressions on the man, in his 70s, until paramedics arrived.

But the St Matthew’s Labour councillor insists he did nothing heroic and did “what anybody would have done”.

He said he saw the man having problems supporting his weight and began to help him, until things went “downhill quite quickly” and he feared he had stopped breathing.

Coun Leeming said: “I had been taking his pulse and I had felt a weak pulse, then I thought I felt it stop. I realised then he was in a bad way, so I got him on the floor and started working on his chest and asked one of the onlookers to ring for an ambulance and just carried on working on him. I was convinced he was dead.”

He said he was “determined” to keep trying and said: “We got a bit of a reaction out of him, he had a bit of a shuddery breath, so that encouraged me to carry on.”

Coun Leeming had St John Ambulance training about 20 years ago, and said: “I’m just really grateful for them. It was so long ago I had the training but as soon as I needed it, it just came back.”

He said he almost decided not to go out that evening, and said: “I could just as easily have been at home eating my tea.

“I don’t think I deserve much praise, it’s just luck. The St John Ambulance training saved him, not particularly me.”

The man is thought to still be in hospital.

A spokesman for the ambulance service thanked those who helped and said the incident demonstrated “the chain of survival and teamwork”.

He said: “If more people have the confidence to act in emergency situations like this one, more lives will be saved.”

•Coun Leeming was canvassing in Cadley ward. The local council election candidates are Royston Banks, UKIP, John Potter, Liberal Democrats, Suleman Sarwar, Labour and Jim Witherington, Conservative.