Daily Post reporter Dan Owen helped paramedics treat an unconscious assault victim with serious head and neck injuries and was able to file his experiences for a video report covering the New Year festivities.
Owen, who is the Welsh paper’s dedicated internet journalist, had arranged to accompany ambulance crews on the streets of Rhyl with picture editor Richard Williams, to provide a double-page spread in the Post and a video report for its website, dailypost.co.uk.
But as Owen and Williams were taken back to the ambulance station after dropping a patient off at a hospital, the crew received a call about a serious assault. Arriving at the scene, they discovered a middle-aged man lying on the floor surrounded by police and members of the public. He was barely conscious and bleeding from the ears. Owen was asked to cradle the man’s head as a neck brace was fitted to help prevent permanent damage. Owen said: “Paramedics are given very limited information, and the sense of not knowing just what you are about to encounter is quite unnerving. “Richard was able to get pictures from a distance and I was closer. After a few moments one of the paramedics asked me to put the camera down. My immediate thought was, had I overstepped the mark? He quickly followed up by saying I was needed to hold the patient’s head.
“Police were told he had taken two hard kicks to the head and he was complaining of neck pains. I was down on my knee, cradling the patient’s head while a neck brace was fitted. It was something I had never expected, but instinct just takes over and you do as you’re told. Thinking back, if the injury was serious, me holding this guy’s head could have had a direct impact on the rest of his life.” Owen had to help the victim get on to the backboard so the paramedics could strap him in, and then had to try to keep the public at a distance so the victim could be tended to. The night’s events ended up making the splash as well as the website’s top video story.