Post office staff save Sheffield ice cream man after heart attack

Tessa Hull was working in the Flask End Post Office in Lower Bradfield, Sheffield, when ice cream man Phil Harper suffered a heart attack. Tessa used her first aid training to give him CPR for half an hour until the ambulance arrived. He is now recovering in hospital.
Tessa Hull was working in the Flask End Post Office in Lower Bradfield, Sheffield, when ice cream man Phil Harper suffered a heart attack. Tessa used her first aid training to give him CPR for half an hour until the ambulance arrived. He is now recovering in hospital.

Staff at a quiet village post office put their first aid training to excellent use when they saved an ice cream man’s life.

Heather Tingle and Tessa Hull were at work at Flask End post office in Low Bradfield last Friday when a man rushed into the shop asking for help.

Tessa Hull was working in the Flask End Post Office in Lower Bradfield, Sheffield, when ice cream man Phil Harper suffered a heart attack. Tessa used her first aid training to give him CPR for half an hour until the ambulance arrived.

Tessa Hull was working in the Flask End Post Office in Lower Bradfield, Sheffield, when ice cream man Phil Harper suffered a heart attack. Tessa used her first aid training to give him CPR for half an hour until the ambulance arrived.

Ice cream man Phil Harper, a regular visitor to the village, had collapsed at the wheel and was having a heart attack. He had stopped breathing and didn’t have a pulse.

Thankfully Tessa, who lives in Manchester but helps her friend Heather out from time to time, is trained in first aid. She rushed out and stopped traffic, got Mr Harper out of his van and laid him in the road.

She then gave CPR until the ambulance arrived 30 minutes later.

Phil, aged 42, from Crookes, is now recovering at Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, where Tessa has been to meet him and check on his progress.

She said: “My first aid training gave me the confidence to offer assistance at first, and then on arrival to Phil, I know instantly that he needed CPR and the sooner I could start it the better chance of survival he would have.

“Without that training it’s scary to think Phil wouldn’t be here today, particularly with the location of the village and the time it took the ambulance to arrive.

“It made me realise just how important it is that people are trained and know how to react in these situations, because essentially it could save a life.”

Tessa was not the only one to help. A passing midwife also gave CPR, and others looked after the young trainee that was with Phil in the van when he suffered the heart attack.

Phil has since been in touch with those who helped him.

“He sent us some lovely messages to say thank you,” said Heather.

“It’s a tight community, everyone knows each other and the ice cream van is there every day. We have a bit of a friendly rivalry with him.”

With Phil now on the mend, the importance of first aid training is a hot topic of discussion in Low Bradfield.

Heather said: “It really shows the importance of having that training. We are now organising a community first aid course and defibrillator training.

“We tried to get a defibrillator but it was locked up and I couldn’t get hold of the key. They are now changing it so I have a key.”

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