A MAN having a heart attack in York city centre has been saved by a teenager who stepped in to help.

When the man collapsed in Davygate, 18-year-old Andrew Richards, cleared the crowd around him and used the first aid skills he had learned volunteering with St John's Ambulance.

Andrew has now been presented an award at Buckingham Palace in recognition that his quick thinking and first aid training saved the man's life.

In recent months Andrew has proved himself as something of a hero - helping a person badly injured after falling on an escalator in a York shop, helping an unconscious young woman in Parliament Street and running across the city centre to help a man with a head injury.

He said: "I'm not the sort of person that can just leave a job that needs doing - I can't walk past someone that needs help and not help.

"It's nice to be someone who can make a difference. If I was in that situation I wouldn't want someone to do the wrong thing to me.

"I think it's part and parcel of wearing the uniform."

Andrew, who lives in Badger Hill and studies applied sciences at York College, has been credited with saving the man's life in Davygate after stopping when he saw a commotion while off duty and walking through the town.

Realising the man, whose name is not known, was suffering from a heart attack, Andrew sat him upright against a wall and pulled his knees up to his chest and raised his arms to help circulation. He appealed to nearby people for aspirin and told the man to hold it under his tongue while calling for an ambulance.

Andrew was presented the Young Achievers’ award by Princess Anne - who recognised him from when he was previously named cadet of the year - at a reception last week.

Adrian Lee, area manager for St John Ambulance York Vale, said: "Andrew has been an asset to his local community all year round and he fully deserved to be rewarded with this invitation."