Bedfordshire teachers praised by ambulance service for saving pupil’s life

Date: 01 March 2017

Castle Newnham meet up

They help us learn, but teachers have to do so much more to help their pupils. In this case it was literally a matter of life and death for a young pupil in Bedford.

On 10th January the four-year-old boy was eating lunch at Castle Newnham School when he suddenly began to choke on his food. Immediately, nearby teachers Idi Diallo, Julia Smith, Jo Kearney, and Rachel Mellor swopped into action and called 999.

Thankfully after following expert advice from one of our former call handler’s Hugo Brice; the teachers were able to dislodge the piece of food obstructing his airway.

Minutes later paramedics Steven Langridge, Jonathan Rhodes, and student paramedics George Bridewell and Sarah Simpson arrived and provided expert medical care.

The boy was taken to Bedford Hospital where he went on to make a good recovery before being sent home and this week (Monday, 27th February), the lifesaving teachers were awarded with commendations from us for their efforts.

Idi, who called 999, said: “It was a really scary situation but the advice given over the phone by Hugo was really calming and reassuring, which is just what we needed at the time.”

Julia said: “It’s lovely to be recognised for what we did, but all that matters is that the young boy is alive now. At the time you don’t think of ‘what if’, but it could well have been a different outcome had the ambulance staff not arrived as quickly as they did.”

Speaking after the meet up, Steven said: “It was fantastic to see him doing so well, just being able to be a young boy enjoying himself at school again, it was very heart warming.”

If you’re interested in working for us find out more here:, and for more information on helping people in distress, visit Its your call pages, to learn when you need to call 999.

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