A student paramedic from the University of Sunderland put her life-saving skills to work after a man collapsed on the street.

Shannon Barthram, a first year Paramedic Science student at the University, had been returning to her home in Gateshead when she saw the fallen pensioner, lying unconscious on the pavement.

A small number of people had gathered to help but the 25 year old knew she could use her training to best assist the man.

Shannon, of Wrekenton, Gateshead, said: “Some people had started CPR but the man had fallen back into cardiac arrest and so I took over.

“At first he had no pulse and so I started resuscitating him and it was then all the training came flooding back.

“Another group of people called an ambulance as we continued to try and help save him. I think we must have been going for about six minutes.”

Shannon only started her paramedic training with the University last September but the experience has made her realise she made the right decision.

She said: “I’ve never been involved in a real-life situation like this before, but it’s made me understand just what an incredibly important job paramedics do – I know this is the right career for me.”

Paramedics from North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) arrived on the scene quickly and took over, driving the patient to hospital following the incident last Friday.

Shannon has since received praise for her efforts from the Service.

NEAS Head of workforce development and education management, Karen Gardner, said: “Shannon’s quick actions to perform CPR on a patient that suffered a cardiac arrest recently, show incredible courage and will have given the gentleman the best chance of survival.

“As a first year student paramedic, Shannon got to experience first-hand using her lifesaving skills, knowledge and initiative – this a great foundation for her career and is testament to her education on the paramedic programme at the University of Sunderland.”

Shannon added: “I really didn’t feel I did anything exceptional. I just wanted to help someone who couldn’t help themselves.”

The University works in partnership with NEAS to offer students practical work placements to ensure they are ready for life on the frontline.