A nurse and her colleague who delivered life-saving first aid in the aftermath of a serious car crash have been commended for their actions.
District nurse Joanne Curry and her co-worker Simon Clifford were on shift with the GP out-of-hours service when they came across a one-car collision in Abertillery, where four people had been injured, two of them seriously.
Using equipment from the boot of their car, Joanne administered first aid in the minutes before the arrival of the ambulance service, while Simon, her driver, managed the scene.Today, the pair were presented with certificates from the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Chief Executive Jason Killens.
Jason said: “Serious road traffic accidents can be daunting for even the most seasoned paramedics, so the way Joanne and Simon took control of the scene is testament to their expert skill and professionalism.’
“This story may have had a different ending had it not been for their intervention, and we would like to thank Joanne and Simon for their support that day, which made a huge difference to both our crews and the patients.”
The pair were nearing the end of their shift with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s GP out-of-hours service on the evening of 01 March 2021, when they spotted a car which had left the carriageway of the A467.
Joanne, a nurse of 32 years, said: “We had just left a call in Nantyglo and were heading back down the Valley to finish when I could see in the distance hazard lights from a car in the carriageway.’
“As we got near, I could see that the vehicle was in the bushes on the nearside and was severely damaged.’
“I got out to see if I could offer any assistance in my capacity as a nurse, and luckily the emergency equipment I had in the car meant I was able to provide first aid.’
“When the fire and ambulance service arrived, I briefed them then supported where I could, by fetching equipment.’
“My colleague Simon assisted me in a situation way out of his comfort zone — and mine.”
Simon, who has been a driver for 15 years, added: “It hadn’t long happened when we pulled up to help.’
“Joanne was brilliant and just took it completely in her stride; she was straight out of the car and straight over to the patients, shouting to me what I needed to retrieve from the boot.’
“It was a trying situation but I’m glad we were able to help in some way.”
In all, four ambulances, three rapid response cars and the Trust’s Hazardous Area Response Team were dispatched to the scene, where crews were also supported by a doctor from MEDSERVE Wales and the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service.
The four occupants of the car were taken to hospital for treatment.
Jason said: “This was without doubt a complex and challenging scene, but Joanne and Simon’s actions tipped the balance of survival in the right way.’
“Once again, we commend them for their quick-thinking actions, which made a huge difference that day.”
Judith Paget, Chief Executive at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, added: “We are extremely proud of both Joanne and Simon for their courageous actions.’
“Their daily roles involve providing excellent care to their patients, but being able to adapt these skills to perform life-saving emergency treatment really is exceptional.’
“Our NHS services in Wales work as one team, and the way Joanne and Simon responded so selflessly is the epitome of this.’
“[We’re] Wishing all casualties involved in the collision a quick recovery.”