HEROIC first-aiders saved the life of a man moments from death after he collapsed on Skeldergate Bridge in York.

Mobile wardens Billy Partridge, 35, and Angela Eastwood, 48, were returning to their James Street office from a call-out on Monday and were stuck in traffic when they saw others gathered around the man on the pavement.

The pair, who work for community interest organisation Be Independent in James Street, and attend daily emergency calls to vulnerable residents, pulled their car over and leapt into action.

Passers-by had already stopped in an attempt to put the middleaged man in the recovery position and had called an ambulance.

Mum-of-two Mrs Eastwood, of Copmanthorpe, said: “We always carry a first aid kit in our car, so as we got closer to the man we stopped to see if they needed help.

“He was going a different colour, which is a sign things aren’t quite right.

“When we looked at him, his tongue had gone back into his mouth and he was taking a breath every five seconds, so we put a defibrillator on him.

“We didn’t really think, we just did what we had to.”

Dad-of-three Mr Partridge, of Woodthorpe, York, said: “We just knew what we had to do because we are both first-aid trained.

“When we got here, he had been on the floor a while.

“We thought he had been hit by a car but everyone else there said he had collapsed.

“A lot of people have a rough idea of what the recovery position is, but we needed to get his airway clear, which was very simple.”

The pair rolled the man on to his back and cleared his airway to help his breathing and paramedics arrived a short time later to take him to hospital.

The ordeal lasted only 15 minutes, but the carers both believe their training proved invaluable in saving the man’s life.

Mrs Eastwood added: “I’m grateful for my training. 

“You don’t think about what you’re doing. You see someone on the ground and think ‘I have got to help them’.

The pair are now calling for first aid training to be made available to everyone to help them save a life.

Mr Partridge said: “Basic first aid training should be in the national curriculum.

“Every person walking the street should be able to do CPR.”

Heather Barden, Be Independent’s chief executive, said: “We are incredibly proud of Billy and Angela for not only being community-spirited by seeing if the gentleman needed assistance but for being prepared to use the AED and put their training into practice. Congratulations to both of them for saving the man’s life.”

A spokesman for Yorkshire Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 11.14am to an incident on Skeldergate Bridge involving an adult male. A rapid response vehicle and ambulance attended and the patient was taken to hospital for further care.”

The spokesman praised all who stopped to help the man and thanked them for their efforts to care for him until the arrival of the ambulance crew.