The quick and calm response from an Auckland corrections officer when an unwell man fell from his bike onto a busy road last week has earned praise from an onlooker who contacted the Department to say how impressed he was.
“Corrections Officer Karl Nielsen was heading to the pharmacy with his unwell son on Thursday when he came across a number of stopped cars. The cause of the traffic jam was a man lying on the ground suffering from a seizure,” says Auckland Prison Manager Neil Beales.
“I understand Karl identified himself as a corrections officer and made it known that he was a trained first-aider. He calmly reassured the unwell man and instructed an onlooker to call an ambulance while others directed traffic to ensure there was no further risk to the safety of anyone at the scene.
“He, along with another first-aider, checked the man’s bag for identification or a health alert card.”
The nature of the prison environment means that corrections officers are trained to deal with many different emergency situations – including medical emergencies.
“I am very proud to have a staff member like Karl working at Auckland Prison. His display of practical common sense and leadership in responding to a difficult incident is to be commended,” says Mr Beales.
The onlooker who contacted Corrections about the incident was quick to point out that Karl ‘controlled the whole thing extremely well for such a young man’, ‘did well for his Department’ and that ‘the training the prison gives must be thanked’.
Karl is no stranger to road incidents, having suffered a serious motorcycle accident on his way to work at the prison last year. He says he was only doing what anyone with training would do when faced with the same situation.
“The Department provides corrections officers with sound skills that come in useful even when you aren’t at work – I am just grateful that due to that training I was able to assist.”
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