Binmen rescue elderly man who had been lying outside his home all night

Stephen Lawrence and James Baldwin
Stephen Lawrence and James Baldwin

A pair of eagle-eyed binmen came to the rescue of an elderly man who collapsed outside his home and had been lying there all night.

Bin lorry driver James Baldwin spotted something in his mirror during a collection with loader Stephen Lawrence, in Barnham, last Tuesday at 7.30am.

They went to investigate and discovered the elderly resident who had fallen into a hedge in his driveway.

“I thought ‘oh my God’ and I was out the cab like a shot,” Mr Baldwin, 45, of Bury St Edmunds, said. “He was conscious and had been out since 5pm the night before.

“I believe he had gone to get his bins out for the next day and he had gone over and couldn’t get up. He had been trying to shout for help but nobody heard him. I’m just glad that I saw him.”

Mr Lawrence, 52, of Risby, called the ambulance service and the pair tried to keep the man warm and comfortable.

They took warm coats out of the lorry, covered him up and tried to keep him talking.

“It was a bit drizzly that night so he was quite wet aswell, Mr Baldwin said.

“Luckily the gentleman was sensible enough to put a nice big coat on before he went out that evening so that helped him a lot.”

The man’s family contacted St Edmundsbury Borough Council last Thursday to offer their ‘sincere thanks’ to the pair and said he was still in hospital but ‘doing well’.

Cllr Peter Stevens, cabinet member for operations, said: “I congratulate James and Stephen on acting quickly to help this gentleman.

“Working for the council isn’t just about delivering services, like emptying your bin, it is being part of our local community and like any good neighbour keeping an eye out and supporting our residents.

“We wish the gentleman a speedy recovery.”