Power of social media allows ambulance crew to reunite missing person with his family

Power of social media allows ambulance crew to reunite missing person with his family

To the left of the picture is ambulance technician Rosea Poynter smiling in her uniform and to the right is paramedic Chris Allum, also smiling in his uniform.
From left to right: Ambulance technician Rosea Poynter and paramedic Chris Allum

A vulnerable elderly man with Alzheimer’s who walked six miles from his home has been reunited with his family thanks to the quick-thinking actions of our ambulance crews.

Ambulance technician Rosea Poynter, paramedic Chris Allum and their student Sophie Izzard were called to the gentleman by two passers-by who were worried about him, but other than his first name had no idea who he was.

The two members of the public had spotted the man leaning against a wall and after he was unable to communicate with them, they dialled 999 as they were concerned he could be suffering a stroke.

The crew decided to travel towards the nearest hospital as a place of safety, and it was then that student paramedic Sophie had the idea to search for him on social media to see if anyone had registered the man as missing.

Rosea Poynter said: “Eventually we came across a Facebook post from Derbyshire Constabulary stating the man was a high-risk missing person and had been missing from his home for seven hours.

“We managed to make contact with the police officer dealing with the incident and we stayed with the gentleman until we were able to reunite him with his family.

“Myself and Chris are very proud of Sophie, our student, for her quick thinking in coming up with the idea to search online for him as a missing person.”

In the seven hours the gentleman had gone missing, he had managed to walk six miles from his home in Alfreton all the way to Eastwood.

His daughter said: “My father loves his walks and is always wandering off. On this occasion he was heading back to Nottingham as that is where he grew up.

“We were really worried as you can imagine, and it was a really scary time.

“We were so relieved to discover that dad had been found safe and well and was being kept fed and watered by the ambulance crew.

“I want to thank them and the passers-by for looking after him and keeping him safe until I could come and bring him home.

“The police were also fantastic, arriving at my home straight away to take all the details and get the information on social media which allowed the ambulance crew to identify him as missing and ultimately helping us to reunite.”

Kate Viles, Communication and Engagement Manager at Derbyshire Constabulary said: “We often put out appeals for missing people and we are grateful to the public for sharing on social media.

“We have had quite a lot of success stories where people have seen the appeal on social media and have rung us to say that they have seen the missing person.

“It is lovely to see that the gentleman is safe and has been reunited with his family.”