North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) dispatch supervisor has won a national Control Room Award for going above and beyond the call of duty.
Dispatch supervisor for unscheduled care, Martin Lonsdale was nominated by his colleagues after he saved a passenger from a burning car.
He was shortlisted out of three others and won in the category for special recognition for bravery and courage.
As a dispatch supervisor, Martin is at the central core of the Trust, sending emergency ambulances to patients.
As a former Royal Marine, serving in Afghanistan and recently becoming a qualified volunteer community first responder to life-threating emergencies; he has the essential instinct to save lives.
Whilst driving on his way into work for his shift at NEAS headquarters, he came across an over turned car in the road. He ran over to find three people in the car, one of which was trapped in the rear seats.
Martin said, “When I was inside the vehicle trying to get the person out, within minutes, flames engulfed the front of the car.’
“People around me were shouting to get out of the way as it looked dangerous. But I just couldn’t go without attempting to save the passengers life.’
“My instinct was purely to help save those people.’
“I managed to get the seatbelt undone but the patient fell on top of me, trapping me in the confined space inside the car.’
“I had a moment where I genuinely thought I was going to die alongside the patient. I thought of my family and that’s when I managed to find the strength to get the patient out of the car.
“Many others were helping me and the person to get to safety and after we got a few yards away from the vehicle, it exploded, taking everything with it. Had we been any longer in the car, it would have been a very different story.”
Assistant dispatch service manager Andy Bell has worked with Martin for many years and wanted to recognise his heroic efforts by nominating him for the control room award.
Andy said, “Martin’s actions didn’t surprise me; he showed the upmost gallantry and valour in a life-threatening situation.’
“He always tries his best and shows great integrity with everything that he does. His family would have been at the front of his thoughts throughout the whole incident.’
“Even though the situation meant Martin risked his own life, we were relieved to hear that he left the scene unscathed. Fortunately, everyone escaped unharmed thanks to his heroic actions.’
“I am so proud of Martin — he is an inspiration to us all.”