A TEENAGE Community Safety Apprentice with Greater Manchester
Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) turned emergency first aider when
she stumbled across a road traffic collision in Atherton.
Caitlin Alcock, who is just 16-years-old, was on her way from
Leigh Fire Station on Tuesday, May 14, to carry out a Home Safety
Check with a firefighter, when they drove up to the aftermath of a
collision on Leigh Road.
Caitlin, who is from Ashton-in-Makerfield, said: "We just saw a
crowd of people and there was a lad lying on the floor all dazed
"I got out of the car and the people told us he'd just been
knocked off his motorbike and they'd rung for an ambulance which
was on its way.
"He was talking which was obviously a good sign but he said he
couldn't move his legs. His mum appeared, and I was able to chat to
her and keep her calm."
Wigan Red Watch Firefighter Barry Taberner was able to take
control of assessing the man's condition.
Firefighter Barry Taberner said: "When the ambulance arrived,
Caitlin helped to stabilise the man's head and hold it still as
paramedics lifted him onto a longboard and into the ambulance.
"She also chatted to the young man and his mum providing them
both with reassurance in a crisis.
"Despite her tender years and the fact she's an apprentice with
GMFRS, Caitlin was fantastic and incredibly calm in what was an
Caitlin is shown with Chief Fire Officer Steve
Caitlin, who left Cansfield School last year, is one of 12 young
people who are six months into the first apprenticeship scheme
offered by GMFRS in conjunction with Salford City College and the
National Apprentice Service.
Having been a Community Fire Cadet with GMFRS in Farnworth for
three years, Caitlin's involvement with the Service is particularly
poignant after her 19-year-old cousin Daniel was tragically killed
in an accident.
A metal drum he was cutting caught fire at a Wigan factory in
2005, when Caitlin was just nine-years-old.
She said: "Ever since it happened I've wanted to work for the
Fire Service, so getting this apprenticeship was fantastic and I've
packed loads into my first six months on the career ladder."
Caitlin's year-long apprenticeship was funded by The National
Apprenticeship Service, and she is working towards a number of
qualifications, as well as working in the community carrying out
Home Safety Checks, fitting smoke alarms and helping people to work
out escape routes.
Eleven other GMFRS apprentices have also been working around
Greater Manchester since the scheme began last year.
Community Safety Manager Reg Dempster said: "It is incredible
that after just a few months with us Caitlin has helped someone in
an emergency like this.
"Caitlin has shown a real enthusiasm to learn and develop all
the relevant skills that come with the role of a Community Safety
Advisor and not only is she is she a very valuable member of the
team she's also shown she's fantastic in an emergency."
Chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority,
Councillor David Acton said: "Caitlin's actions are to be
commended, she will really have reassured the people involved and
even helped to get the man safely into the ambulance.
"I'm delighted that while being given a chance as a GMFRS
apprentice when the jobs market is so difficult, she has proved
herself in this way.
"By working with Salford City College, the skills we are giving
our 12 apprentices will be something they can use in a career with
us, other public sector organisations and even in the private
sector so this should open up some real opportunities for them.
"It furthers the work we are already doing to improve the lives
of young people through a number of programmes by giving them a
potential route into work."
To find out more about what GMFRS' apprentices have been up to,
read their blog on the GMFRS website here: /updates/apprentices.aspx