Two heroic teenagers who played vital roles in looking after the victims of a road accident outside Fylde’s biggest school have made an emotive plea to drivers.
‘Please do your bit to keep us safe’ is the call from Kimberley Fisher and Max Cosgrave after the incident last week, which left two fellow students of Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College seriously injured.
Kimberley, 15, and Max, 13, were quick to bring their medical training into play after two 11-year-olds suffered head and leg injuries respectively in a collision with a passing car.
While Kimberley elevated the injured leg of one victim and kept him talking as they waited for the emergency services, Max sent for ice and made sure the injured were kept as calm as possible.
Now the modest pair are asking that parents and other drivers passing the school in Albany Road, Ansdell, at the start and end of the day do everything they can to make sure its 1,800 students stay safe – and are backing a review of how students are taught about road safety.
“People parking on double yellow lines is a real problem outside the school, and it makes it really difficult for us to see clearly to cross the road,” said Max.
“More enforcement is needed, but it would help if people didn’t park there in the first place.
“But it is also important that we all as students listen and follow the road safety advice we are given and make sure we cross the road at a safe spot, such as with a crossing patrol person or at the zebra crossing and certainly well away from parked cars.”
Kimberley added: “It is really busy outside, especially at the end of the day and everybody has to work together to make it safe for everyone.”
Kimberley and Max, who first took up first aid training as 10-year-olds with the Scouts and the St John Ambulance respectively, were passing the scene of the accident on Albany Road just after it happened –10 minutes following the end of the school day.
“I heard a shout and had to go over and do what I could to help,” said Kimberley, who lives in St Annes and is an Explorer with the Tarka group, based at Fylde Scout headquarters in Heyhouses Lane.
Max, from Lytham, added: “The important thing was to keep everybody calm – a calm atmosphere around them helps calm the people involved.”
The pair played down their role to such an extent that it was some days later before staff and fellow pupils were fully aware of their part in the aftermath of the accident.
Headteacher Philip Wood was full of praise for their efforts, and re-emphasised his vow to press for further improvement to road safety outside the school, where an advisory 20mph limit has been introduced recently at the beginning and end of the school day after years of campaigning.
“I really can’t speak highly enough of Kimberley and Max’s efforts,” he said. “It would have been so easy to just stand by and do nothing, but they played key roles in looking after the injured until the emergency services could reach them. I am so proud of them.
“I have been told there is no evidence the driver concerned in the incident was speeding and the advisory 20mph limit outside the school seems to be working well enough so far.
“But that was just one aspect of the campaign for better road safety which was launched by our school council some years ago and which won them a Houses of Parliament Speaker’s Award.
“There are a number of other key measures we are continuing to press the highway authority for, including the replacement of double yellow lines with kerb markings or double red lines to prevent stopping.
“Just last month, I wrote to parents reminding them not to park on double yellow lines because of the difficulty this causes for students, but there are still some who persist in doing that.
“It is important we all work together to do everything we can to ensure road safety and a series of safety talks have been planned for the coming weeks as we review how we teach students about road safety.”
One victim of the accident was released from hospital the same evening, while the second was due to be discharged this week.
St Annes councillor Tony Ford, who was heavily involved with the town’s Youth Council and is a major advocate of the role of youngsters in society, said: “I am really impressed to hear of this. It gives a really positive image of young people.”