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Distinct Darlington’s ranger becomes hero for asthma attack teenager


A street ranger employed to ensure Darlington remains a safe, clean and friendly place for visitors has heroically stepped in to save a teenager in the midst of a medical emergency in the town.

Quick thinking from Martin Laws, a team member of the Distinct Darlington business improvement district scheme, ensured a 16-year-old made it safely to hospital after suffering an asthma attack on High Row in Darlington town centre.

As well as radioing his fellow Distinct Darlington team members to call an ambulance, Martin made sure the teenager was kept as calm and comfortable as possible and that he didn’t eat or drink anything on the advice of the ambulance service.

Andy Shaw from the local council’s Street Scene team – who was passing by at the time of the incident – also stepped in to help by giving the boy his jacket to keep him warm.

Martin said: “I just acted how I am expected to in my job and I’m glad the young boy had assistance in order to ensure he had a quick recovery from what must have been a distressing experience.

“The rangers are here to help within the town centre and if anybody finds themselves in a similar situation I would urge them to not hesitate to stop one of us as we are all trained in dealing with first aid situations.”

All of Distinct Darlington’s rangers have undertaken a bespoke Foundation Ranger course at one of the most well established business improvement districts in the UK in Rugby.

Team members also complete daily role-play training to ensure they are fully aware of what is expected of them as well as receiving extensive first aid training.

Distinct Darlington is a business controlled initiative which gives local firms the power to raise funds locally, to be spent locally with the aim of increasing footfall in the area and improving the overall look and feel of the town centre.

Distinct Darlington’s BID manager Alex Swan said: “The rangers are here to help businesses, residents, shoppers and visitors of the town centre and offer a friendly face and advice including directions, forthcoming events and activities and to ensure that the businesses in the town centre are benefitting from Distinct Darlington’s projects.

“Many businesses have commented on the good work that the rangers are doing since they launched in October 2012, especially in relation to our enhanced rapid response cleaning service which ensures Darlington town centre is as clean, safe and welcoming as possible.”

For more information on Distinct Darlington visit: www.distinctdarlington.co.uk.

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