Little Neck teen uses skills to save life

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Christopher Louis Benson had an unusual Saturday night, but the teen seemed to be taking it right in stride.

During a quick trip to a McDonald's restaurant in Little Neck, Benson came to the aid of an elderly woman and saved her life.

"I wasn't thinking anything," said the 14-year-old Little Neck resident. "I was doing."

What Benson did was to give invaluable help to a 74-year-old woman who fell and seriously injured her head at the McDonald's restaurant at Northern Boulevard and Marathon Parkway Saturday.

Benson attributed his calm and cool attitude to his training with the Glen Oaks Volunteer Ambulance Youth Corps, which he said has taught him to "stay calm, get information and give it."

In fact, Benson was returning from a Youth Corps meeting when he decided to go to McDonald's, he said.

Once inside, he said he saw the woman fall, but no one moved to help her. When Benson went to see if she was all right, he said "the next thing I knew there was blood pouring from her head."

Benson said he asked someone to call 911 and followed the operator's instructions.

"I put pressure on her head and treated her for shock for 20 minutes until the Fire Department came," he said. "I just made sure she was with me.

"No one really helped me," he said.

Edward Pearce, an emergency medical technician and supervisor of the Glen Oaks Youth Corps, said Tuesday the woman was in stable condition.

Pearce said Benson's heroic actions Saturday night made him the first member of the youth corps to test his skills on the field.

"We're really proud of him," Pearce said. "We're training them so that if something does happen in their community or their family, they can assist."

A member of the Youth Ambulance Corps for about a year, Benson said the corps has trained him in CPR and other Emergency Medical Service activities, like how to stop bleeding from a major injury.

David Mader, an EMT who serves as the community affairs officer for the group, said the youth corps "gives kids someplace to go rather than hanging out on a corner."

He joined the Glen Oaks Volunteer Youth Ambulance Corps after he was turned away from the Little Neck/Douglaston Ambulance Corps because he was too young, he said.

The Glen Oaks Youth Corps' age range is from 14 to 18, Pearce said. He said the youth corps has 11 members, but is always looking for more.

For more information, call the youth corps at 347-1637, or email them at

Updated 10:26 am, October 12, 2011
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