Edmonton terror attacks: Nursing student lauded for quick response

Click to play video: 'Witnesses to aftermath of Edmonton attacks speak out'
Witnesses to aftermath of Edmonton attacks speak out
WATCH ABOVE: We're learning more about the pedestrians who were hit by a U-Haul truck in Edmonton on Saturday night. Sarah Kraus has details – Oct 1, 2017

When chaos erupted in downtown Edmonton Saturday night, several people jumped in to help. One of them was a fourth-year nursing student who also works at The Pint.

Nena Powell was inside the bar when her boss told her pedestrians had been struck in the alley outside.

“I was just working behind the bar and my manager came up to me and he was like: ‘I need you at the front door right now. I need you to stay calm but someone has been hit by a vehicle outside.’

“I came outside and I saw a man laying there unconscious and unresponsive,” Powell said.

“There was another girl beside him, which I found out was his girlfriend. We just stabilized his head and I just monitored his heart rate and respiration until paramedics arrived.”

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READ MORE: Sources identify 30-year-old Edmonton man as suspect in vehicle attacks

Despite the terrifying circumstances, Powell said she was glad she was able to help.

“I was scared obviously… Your first though is: is he breathing or is his heart going? I immediately went to go feel his pulse and his pulse was normal and his breaths were normal. That was my priority.”

READ MORE: Edmonton terror attacks: Abdulahi Sharif charged with attempted murder 

When paramedics arrived, Powell said the man in his 20s was opening his eyes and moving around a little.

“I was just telling him to stay still and reassuring him that I was there and not to move. I tried to orientate him once more and I asked him where he was and he didn’t know. He couldn’t really tell me.”

Powell is wishing all the people affected by the attack a speedy recovery.

“There were no fatalities… that’s amazing.”

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On Sunday, the premier’s office reached out to Powell, saying Rachel Notley wanted to thank her for her efforts.

“She was super sweet and just thanked me and wished me well in my further nursing career.”

READ MORE: Edmonton cop protected his gun from terror suspect while fending off knife attack

In a Facebook post, Notley described Powell as “an incredible young woman” who put everything aside to help.

“When we talked to Nena, she said the most Albertan thing possible: She said she didn’t feel like she deserved any special thanks because she was just doing what any Albertan would do,” the premier wrote.

Notley also thanked the police and first responders for their brave actions.

“Every Albertan deserves to feel safe in their home, on their streets and in their community. You have my word that we are going to do everything in our power to keep Albertans safe. The people who would inflict on us this kind of violence: They think we’re weak. But when I look out at you all here tonight, what I see is our incredible strength.”

READ MORE: Edmonton terror attacks: What we know so far

The Pint also praised Powell and other staff for their quick actions.

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“We are incredibly proud of her actions, and the other staff who assisted,” managing partner Al Gothjelpsen said. “Our thoughts are with those injured and their families. We hope for their speedy recovery.

“We denounce this attack in the strongest possible way, and are relieved to know the Edmonton Police Service has the suspect in custody. We urge Edmontonians not to let this random attack deter us, change our behaviours or create any division in the respect we share for each other as a community,” the statement read.

READ MORE: Who is Abdulahi Sharif, man accused in Edmonton terror attacks? 

On Monday morning, police said two of the four pedestrians hit by the U-Haul remain in hospital, one in serious condition. The other two have been released from hospital.

“I hope he’s OK,” Powell said. “I wish him and all the victims and families the best. It’s a horrible thing that happened but it’s nice that Edmontonians are just going to unite and get through this.”

Gothjelpsen said The Pint will donate the proceeds made this Saturday to the victims of the attacks, to help them as they recover. The total should amount to about $30,000.

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