Heroic Ipswich Town Hall staff and market traders help 66-year-old shopper in dramatic town centre fall
- Credit: Su Anderson
Heroic market traders and Town Hall staff in Ipswich have been hailed for their efforts in helping a woman who was injured after dramatically falling from the steps of the Town Hall.
Pat Coe, 66, of High Street, Sproughton, slipped on the wet concrete steps on the Cornhill on Friday lunchtime, and plummeted to the ground.
But staff from the market and the Town Hall rallied round to help the stricken shopper while awaiting paramedics.
Town Hall duty manager Simon Parr administered first aid to Mrs Coe, while events supervisor Tim Leat, market manager Kevin Walker and flower stall owner Lynn Rawlings all helped by erecting a gazebo to cover her from the pouring rain, covering her with blankets, stemming the bleeding to her head, and phoning relatives and paramedics.
“People tried so hard to do what they could. I felt terrible for those people because they all stayed with me and carried out very competent first aid – I was very grateful,” Mrs Coe said.
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As a result of the incident, Mrs Coe suffered an injury to the head and dislocated her right shoulder, with first aiders wisely spotting that she could not be put in the recovery position.
Several members of the public also helped to hold umbrellas, while Mrs Rawlings looked after the Mrs Coe’s belongings and stayed by her side to keep her spirits up while they awaited paramedics.
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Mrs Rawlings said: “She was so lovely – when she has recovered I said to come down and we can give her a bouquet of flowers.
“It’s a community on the market here – anything goes wrong or anything happens, everyone is here to help each other.”
Market manager Kevin Walker added: “Everyone rallied around and that’s what we have to do, we would do it with everybody.”
However, questions marks were raised over the ambulance response time after it took almost an hour for paramedics to attend Mrs Coe.
East of England Ambulance Trust locality manager Jason Gillingham, said: “We’re pleased to hear that the patient is recovering, and also give our thanks to those who rushed to her aid.
“Our crews were treating a number of patients in Ipswich in the hour preceding the patient’s accident; we sent the first available crew to see her and we’re sorry that it wasn’t as quick as we would have wanted.
“We are making great progress in our ambulance times but we need more paramedics in the area to boost this. The student paramedic drive we’re running will help us make the difference both us and the public want, and we encourage readers to get on board with this and support their ambulance service as much as possible.”
However Mrs Coe said the level of care she received by paramedics on arrival and at A&E was “exceptional.”
She added: “I know they have to prioritise things but I wouldn’t wish that on anybody, and it makes you realise how much we need our ambulance service.”
Now, as she recovers at home, Mrs Coe has extended her thanks to those who helped her on the day.
She concluded: “I have always known the majority of my fellow citizens are good and kind, but I feel their actions to be exceptional, and as I don’t know who they are, and couldn’t even see them I would like to thank them for being heroes – my family and I are very grateful.”