Staff at Banbridge Leisure Centre have been praised for their swift actions when they came to the aid of a teenager who collapsed close to the premises.
The 16 year-old was later found to be in possession of a quantity of suspected cannabis prompting increased concerns for young people, and their involvement with illegal drugs in the district.
The young man collapsed on the Downshire Road just before 5.30pm on Monday May 19.
“Someone saw the young person go down outside the Leisure Centre and drew it to the attention of our staff,” a spokesperson for the council said.
“Duty officers administered first aid straight away on site, and called an ambulance. Following first aid the boy regained consciousness and they were able to put him into the recovery position and remain with him until the ambulance arrived.
“Our staff do an important job here and are all fully trained first aiders. Although this incident didn’t happen inside the Leisure Centre it’s good they were on hand.
“Thankfully they were there and were only too glad to give assistance to the young man.”
UUP councillor Joan Baird congratulated the duty officers who rushed to the young man’s aid.
“I would expect this quick response of any our staff who have first aid training. They use their training to help no matter what, at any time and wherever it is needed and I’m sure in this instance the family of the young man will thank them.
“Thank goodness they were there to help.”
Cllr Baird also went on to express concern.
“We must continue to warn young people and their parents of the dangers of illegal drugs and do all we can to try to desist young people from using them.
“Often our young people just don’t seem to get the message, but this should be a lesson to young and old alike to stop the habit.
“I would also encourage anyone who has any information to give it to the police or pass it onto someone who is not afraid to speak to the police on their behalf.
“My thoughts are with the young lad and his family and I hope he will make a quick recovery.”
Police are continuing to investigate the incident.
A statement said: “Police in Banbridge have seized a small amount of suspected cannabis.
“We received a report of a male who had collapsed close to the leisure centre on Downshire Road, around 5.20pm on Monday, May 19 and attended the scene along with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service. The male received medical attention.
“A quantity of suspected cannabis was found in possession of the 16 year old male which has now been sent for further testing.”