'He deserves a medal' - Praise for Hartlepool BT worker who went to aid of elderly woman after falling into busy road

Telecommunications worker Ian French has been praised after he jumped into action to go to the aid of an elderly woman who was lying in a busy road.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 7:00 am

The testing officer for BT Openreach, who is from Hartlepool, sectioned off the road around the casualty where traffic was driving by and stayed with her for more than half an hour until the emergency services arrived.

He was hailed a hero after pictures of the incident were posted on social media.

But the dad-of-two insists he just did what any decent person would have done.

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Ian French won praise for helping an old lady after she fell into a busy road.
Ian French won praise for helping an old lady after she fell into a busy road.

Ian, 39, was on his way to a job in Sunderland after dealing with a fault in Whitley Bay.

The journey took him through Monkseaton where the old lady had fallen into the road.

Ian explained: “Traffic was still whizzing past her at this time. I don’t know why but I just jumped into action.

"First of all I blocked the road off so no vehicles could pass. I quickly cordoned off the lady with cones then phoned an ambulance.

"I had a green tarpaulin in the van and also put it over her to keep her warm until the ambulance arrived.”

He was joined on the scene by two off duty NHS workers who attended to the woman.

It is believed she was aged in her 90s and Ian said she was semi-conscious and in a confused state.

He heard later that she had returned home and was fine.

His actions won him lots of plaudits online.

A poster on the Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Facebook group said: “My faith in humanity has been restored!

"As you can imagine how busy Front Street is he done an amazing job, all selfless."

They added: “If anyone knows him he needs a medal!”

But Ian, who lives in West Park and is dad to Brooke, 21, and Jack, 12, said: “People have called me a hero but I certainly don’t class myself as that.

"I think I just did what any decent human being would have done.”

His family said they “couldn’t be prouder”.

Ian has worked for BT Openreach for more than 10 years and covers the area from Berwick to Thirsk as a precision test officer.

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