Big Issue seller praised by firefighters for providing first aid to injured motorist

Firefighters have thanked a Big Issue seller who provided medical care to an injured woman while waiting for emergency services to arrive at the scene of a road traffic collision.

Just after 14.30hrs on Monday 26 March three fire engines from Temple, Avonmouth and Bedminster fire stations were called to the collision in Park Street, Bristol. A lady in her 20s had suffered injuries to her neck, back and legs in the incident involving a moped and car.

Before firefighters arrived on scene, 42 year-old Big Issue vendor Garry Buchan used his rucksack to fill the gap between the moped’s handlebars and car to protect the woman from risking further injury to her back.

The Big Issue has reported that Garry, who has been selling the magazine for 18 months, called on the first aid training he received during four-and-a-half-years of service in the Army.

Garry told the Big Issue: “I saw the woman lying on top of the moped. There was a lot of people looking but no one was doing anything so I dropped my rucksack and food and went to help.

“I saw that there was a gap between the car and the moped so I was scared of the woman suffering a back injury. My rucksack was big enough to fill the gap so I put it under the woman to support her while another homeless man helped keep her neck still until the emergency services arrived.

“There were a lot of people stood around who didn’t act, hopefully I showed that if a homeless guy can do it then I can inspire others to help out too.”

Following the incident Avon Fire & Rescue Service contacted the Big Issue in order to pass on the crew’s thanks for Garry’s intervention.

Paul Kirk, Avon Fire & Rescue Service Watch Manager at Avonmouth Fire Station, said: “We wanted to say thank you to Garry and express our gratitude to him for his calm, collected manner and quick thinking.

“His actions showed what a great asset to the community he is, what he did in that first five or 10 minutes before we got there made a real difference.”

The Big Issue has also reported that Garry is planning a sponsored walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats this summer to show the positive impact homeless people can have on society.

The Big Issue magazine launched in 1991 in response to the growing number of rough sleepers on the streets of London. It offers people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income through selling a magazine to the public. It now sells 82,000 copies a week and is read by more than 379,000 in the UK.

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