Ambulance crew awarded for bravery in battling to rescue elderly man from caravan blaze

From left - Duty Operations Manager Chris Long, Emergency Care Assistant Dannie Smith with Clinical Operations Manager George Campbell. EMN-180506-141042001
From left - Duty Operations Manager Chris Long, Emergency Care Assistant Dannie Smith with Clinical Operations Manager George Campbell. EMN-180506-141042001

An ambulance crew from Sleaford have been awarded for their actions in trying to save an elderly man from a mobile home blaze.

Emergency Care Assistant Dannie Smith and his colleague, (who has also received an award but wished not to be named), started their shift on December 20 last year and were immediately dispatched to a caravan on fire. They were on scene within five minutes and before the fire service had arrived.

Upon arrival they were met by an elderly woman saying her husband was still inside. The crew could see the property was filling with smoke.

While Dannie encouraged the wife to walk away from the property, his colleague went in to try and retrieve her husband. He was struggling to see and was banging into furniture; the smoke and fumes were becoming too much and he had to retreat.

At this point firefighters arrived and were able to extract the husband, but despite their best efforts the ambulance team could not revive the man.

Anne Berry, Clinical Support Manager at Sleaford ambulance station, nominated her colleagues for the award.

She said: “Throughout the incident both colleagues didn’t seem to comprehend what a brave thing they had done, stating: ‘It’s what anyone would do’. It’s great for them to receive recognition as they went above and beyond to try and save the gentleman.”

The Willetts award honours those who have excelled in difficult circumstances or risked their life for the sake of a patient or colleague.

The Willetts Trophy depicts Sgt. Willetts (George Cross) performing a heroic act which claimed his life as a serving soldier in Northern Ireland. It is on permanent loan to EMAS from the British Society of St George.

EMAS presents the award annually to any operational members of staff who have ‘used their skills or performed a courageous act in an exemplary manner that is above and beyond the call of duty’ and is for those frontline colleagues who show extreme bravery.

Lincolnshire General Manager Sue Cousland said: “The crew were extremely courageous and selfless in the actions they took on that day. It is fabulous for them to have received this recognition and the Lincolnshire Division is both proud and privileged to have them as part of the team”.