Published Tuesday, 22 July 2014
Neighbourhood policing officers were on duty at the Castlewellan Show in Co Down on Saturday when they were alerted that a young girl had sustained a serious leg injury nearby.
Eleven-year-old Alanna Casement had been riding her bike when she fell off and the handlebar penetrated her leg - damaging her femoral artery.
Officers tasked a PSNI helicopter to airlift the girl, along with the rapid response paramedic, to hospital where she underwent surgery on her leg.
"She lost a substantial amount of blood at the scene and we've been told by the PSNI that if she had have been any further away or if she hadn't have had the help there on the day, that we wouldn't have had Alanna with us today," Alanna's mum Collette told UTV.
"The Castlewellan Agricultural Show was on so there were people in the park who had medical training.
"They all rushed to her aid. A paramedic, Brian, came and was just fantastic. Alanna, now that she's come round and is talking a wee bit, Brian was one of the first people she mentioned, she just loves him to bits."
We just can’t thank people enough. It’s amazing.
Collette Casement, Alanna’s mum
Collette was not with Alanna when the accident happened and she did not know the extent of her injuries until she arrived at the hospital.
She said the medical team at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast told her that Alanna had been "incredibly lucky" as she had lost more than half of her blood supply.
She added: "The police service and the ambulance service and the staff in RVH have just overwhelmed us, and of course our friends who she was with in Castlewellan Forest Park and her dad who was first on the scene and we're led to believe, really saved her life."
Alanna remains in hospital where her condition is described as "serious but stable".
Inspector Mark Peters, from Newcastle Neighbourhood Team, said: "This could have ended in tragedy and I am just glad the officers, both the local neighbourhood and response officers and the crew from the PSNI helicopter, were able to do their bit to help save this young girl's life.
"We would all like to wish her a speedy recovery.
"As police officers, one of our main priorities is to keep people safe and this is another example of how the PSNI and our partner agencies work together to do this. As an officer, being able to help someone in this way makes our job worthwhile."
Ruth McNamara, Ambulance Service Area Manager, praised the actions of those involved in the operation.
She said: "With schools now out for the summer, we have noticed an increasing number of young people out and about enjoying activities which have been planned by various community groups.
"With such large numbers, there is always the potential for accidents to happen. Whilst the ambulance service will respond to every incident as quickly as we can, it is often the actions of those first on the scene that play a major part in the saving of a life."
She added that on this occasion it was the quick thinking of the PSNI officers and paramedics, who were on duty at the event, that ensured that this young girl was given every chance to survive her ordeal.
"The Rapid Response Paramedic who arrived on the scene has been fulsome in his praise for these officers and we are delighted that the co-operation between the two services has had such a positive outcome."
© UTV News