Off-duty cop praised for saving man who collapsed in Sheffield street
An off-duty community cop has been praised after he sprung into action to help save a man's life who had collapsed in the street.
The drama unfolded in Greengate Lane, High Green, last Friday at 8.10am when Matthew Elliott was driving to his day job working in the finance department of a construction company when he noticed several people gathered around an elderly man laid on the floor.
But his sense of responsibility as a special police constable kicked in – and he turned his car around to return to the scene and offer to help the stricken man.
The 21-year-old Crosspool man performed CPR and also used a nearby defibrillator to try and kick-start the man's heartbeat.
An ambulance arrived a short while later and took the man – believed to be aged in his 70s – to hospital.
Matthew said: “It is a cliché to say it but the training just kicked in.
“At the time you don't think about it you just act because the adrenaline is going.
“But I'm pleased I was able to put into practice what I had learned.”
He told how a man and woman who were already at the scene raised the alarm and rang for paramedics while Matthew tried to revive the man.
Then a couple of men driving past shouted that there is a defibrillator machine close-by and so that was brought to the scene and used before an ambulance arrived.
Police have confirmed the man “survived and is making good progress.”
Shortly after the incident Chief Officer Stephen Merrett, head of South Yorkshire Police's Special Constabulary, praised Matthew on Twitter.
He tweeted: “I drove past a scene where paramedics were working on an elderly male.
“I have since found out that the first person on the scene performing CPR was an off-duty SYP Special Constable.
“Paramedics said his intervention has without doubt saved the man's life.”
Matthew said he is not sure why the man had collapsed but added that he hopes he makes a full recovery, and would also like to meet him.
He only became a special constable in December last year and praised police for giving him the skills needed to handle such a situation.
Said Matthew: “I have always fancied joining the police force and thought why not give the specials a go.
“You only have to do 16 hours a month volunteering as a minimum and you get to do all kinds of stuff.
“I strongly recommend it, it really gives you a confidence boost. And the training really paid off in this situation in particular.”
For more information about becoming a special constable visit https://www.southyorks.police.uk/sign-up/to-volunteer-with-syp/to-be-a-special-constable/about-special-constables/
*Do you know the man who collapsed? Contact reporter Lee Peace on 01142521354.