A group of students from Hastings Girls' and Hastings Boys' high schools have been showered in praise for their potentially "life-saving" actions after an elderly woman fell in Frimley Park.

St John's Hawke's Bay EMT Tom Glenn said the incident occurred in a very isolated spot in the park on April 17.

"An older lady, about 83 years old, with sight impairment and other conditions, walked into a tree, fell backwards and hit her head on the ground.

"She's very frail, lightly built. For a lady that age the spine and neck becomes fragile and she could have had a neck injury, or a basal skull fracture."


Luckily, because of the timely intervention of the teenagers, she escaped with minor injuries, he says.

The eight-strong group of students - Tineal Pere, Montanna Hocking, Shahntae Ngawhika, Ottylean te-Houkamau, Shayden Pere, Jaydus Hungahunga, Kalib Walsh and Jaevarn Tapine-Ngamatu (sic) - witnessed the accident and recognised the senior woman as being in some distress.

"The fact that they didn't whip their phones out and take a video of her was admirable.

"If the students had not found her, she could have lain there for hours and if her injuries had been life-threatening, she could have died.

"It was a particularly cold day. They provided their own jumpers to keep her warm on the cool afternoon, assisted her to a bench and provided comfort and support to her in a vulnerable moment.

"She had an altered level of consciousness. They talked to her to let her know what had happened.

"They made the 111 call, sent two of their group to the road to flag us down, which was a great move, and they provided information on scene to the crew allowing us to understand the case and provide appropriate treatment, and even helped us carry her some distance to our ambulance."

He believes the students acted "very honourably".


"Had the injury been life-threatening they would have absolutely saved her life.

"I was impressed with their quick and thoughtful response and their care for our patient.

"We live in a moment where 'you do you' individualistic culture prevails which teaches people to not recognise others as part of one's own society.

"These young men and women, however, did not just walk on, but recognised a person they didn't know or identify with as being in distress and acted honourably.

"Without you being there the outcome could have been a very real health moment for that elder."