Council worker comes to aid of unwell Wensleydale resident

Steve Barker.

A council worker has come to the aid of a local resident who became unwell while out walking.

Steve Barker was at work when he spotting a pedestrian struggling at the roadside near Redmire.

Steve is the council’s highways maintenance manager for Richmondshire and was returning while on duty from a site visit near the authority’s boundary when he noticed two walkers at the roadside between Carperby and the village of Redmire, with one apparently unwell.

He turned his vehicle around and went back to check on their welfare.

One of the women was clearly unwell and he was able to take back to her nearby home and make sure she was safe before returning to ensure her companion did not need further assistance herself.

To ensure social distancing, Steve kept the number of passengers in his Land Rover down to one, with both wearing face coverings.

His actions provoked an email of thanks to North Yorkshire County Council highways from one of the two women, although she did not know who had stopped to help.

She said: “My friend suddenly became unwell and was unable to continue. The driver of a highways department Land Rover, who had passed us on his way into Redmire, returned, stopped and offered assistance.

“He very kindly gave my friend a lift back to her home in Redmire, stayed to see her safely inside her house, then drove back to let me know she was safely home.”

Steve said: “I wondered what was happening and wasn’t happy about it so went back.

“I have worked for the council for 36 years and it is just the sort of thing I would do, I don’t think anyone would ignore something like that if they saw it. It was ten minutes of my time, but to them it clearly made a big difference.”

NYCC executive member for access, Cllr Don Mackenzie, said: “Praise for the actions of our staff is always much appreciated. This incident highlights the importance which members of our highways team attach to their role in the community.

“We are very pleased that, on this occasion, Steve’s efforts prevented someone suffering further distress.”