Bolton UK June 10 2017 A security officer has been honoured after her quick thinking which saved the life of a choking toddler.
Megin Dorrian has been recognised with the British Security Industry Association’s regional personnel award for an ‘outstanding act’ in the north west.
The 53-year-old was on duty at Bolton’s Market Place Shopping Centre when she was alerted to a little boy who had stopped breathing at the nearby Marks and Spencer store.
It was her first week patrolling the centre, but she drew on all her experience and know-how to prevent a tragedy.
She said: “A guy came flying in screaming that a baby had died. I took to my heels and ran over and to fight my way through 12 people who had gathered round to get to him. He was being held by his granny in the corner of a walkway. His granny wouldn’t give the boy up, she had him facing the corner, she was terrified.
“But I eventually coaxed her, I said ‘let me see him, you don’t need to give him up, you can help him.”
On examining the 19-month-old she saw his lips had turned blue and he and was showing no vital signs.
She said: “I felt for a pulse in the neck and there was a tiny little air-bubble. I thought ‘I have seconds here to get him breathing again’.
“I pressed on his heart with two fingers and back slapped him and released a chip lying across his throat.”
An ambulance crew arrived and rushed the youngster to hospital, where he made a full recovery.
But it was Ms Dorrian’s fast response and invaluable first aid skills that saved the boy’s life.
She said: “It was just a relief to hear that breath, it was quite emotional.
“Even now it makes me quite emotional, but at the time I didn’t think. I just responded.”
Ms Dorrian, who has 17 years experience in the security industry, said the chance to make a difference to people’s lives was what made her job so worthwhile.
She added: “To feel that breath, to bring a little life back is a pretty amazing experience, it’s an amazing feeling. You are praying for minutes, you have got seconds but it feels like minutes, and you are hoping the paramedics are going to get to you with oxygen.”
And she added that her ability to keep calm in highly pressured situations seemed to come naturally to her.
She said: “I’m just really privileged to have been in the right place at the right time and not be scared to tackle it. Not everyone is cut out for first-aid, but some people are just born into it.”
The former catering industry worker, who has since returned to her native Scotland, said she was honoured to receive the award, but played down her heroics.
She said: “It’s amazing, I’m really, really grateful it’s been recognised, but it’s just part of my job. I hand over to the paramedics, write up my report and go about my business.”
Nikki Wilson-Cook, manager at the Market Place Shopping Centre, praised Ms Dorrian for her calmness under pressure and professionalism. She said: “How she handled the situation was outstanding and an amazing example to all.”
Ms Dorrian, who also received a commendation for saving the life of a baby at the Trafford Centre 10 years ago, will now be put forward for a national award.
If successful she will be presented with the accolade at the Grand Connaught Rooms, in London, on July 12.