A DRUNK teenage boy, who was found unconscious, is “lucky to be alive” after Hucknall’s volunteer street-pastors came to his rescue.
The 15-year-old had been out drinking on the streets with friends one Friday and had been downing vodka near the Tesco superstore, off Ashgate Road.
He was discovered collapsed and face down next to shopping trollies in the Tesco car park at 8.30 pm.
Thankfully the street pastors stepped in to prevent a tragedy. The pastors are a group of Christians who give up their Friday nights to patrol Hucknall town-centre to help make the streets safer.
A team of three found the boy and while one member put the youngster into the recovery position and tried to resuscitate him, the others dialled 999.
An ambulance and the police were on the scene within minutes and the boy was rushed to the accident and emergency department at King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield where he received life-saving treatment.
His condition stabilised and he was discharged a day later to continue his recovery at home.
Hucknall’s police chief, Insp Nick Butler, is in no doubt that the swift actions of the street pastors saved the boy’s life.
He said: “He is lucky to be alive. Had the street pastors not been where they were at the time, it is very likely the ambulance would not have been called to give the treatment he so vitally needed.
“Frankly, without the alcohol in the mix, this would not have happened.”
The boy has not been named, and the team of street pastors who came to the aid of the teenager have asked to remain anonymous.
But one of the life-saving trio remained modest when he spoke to the Dispatch this week, saying: “What we did was nothing any member of the public couldn’t have done.
“All we did was make sure the boy was comfortable and get the ambulance there.
“We were in the right place at the right time.”
There are currently 14 volunteer street pastors who patrol Hucknall to engage with drinkers, offer support and chat with teenagers. The initiative was launched last year and has been hailed a huge success.
On the night the boy was found (February 17), the pastors had left their base at the Under One Roof centre on Vine Terrace. They found an unusually large number of teenagers out.
They heard a commotion coming from near the Tesco petrol station and decided to investigate. They found a group of teenagers having a loud argument.
The pastors chatted with them, handed out lollipops and diffused the clash. But they decided to follow the five youngsters once they had headed towards the store.
The quintet — two boys and three girls — hadn’t made it past the car-park entrance when the drunk 15-year-old collapsed.
Most of his friends fled but one of the girls remained and called the injured teenager’s mother, who rushed to the scene. Support also came from Tesco staff.
The mum has declined to talk to the Dispatch but it is hoped she and her son will work with the police to form a police training programme on the effects of under-age drinking.
Insp Butler said: “We are investigating how the boy and his friends came to have two bottles of vodka.
“We take the issue of under-age drinking very seriously and will take action against anyone who sells alcohol to anyone under the age of 18.”
Anyone with information about the illegal sale of booze to under-18s should ring the police on the non-emergency number 101.
Alternatively, call the free and confidential Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 55111.