Staff Recognition for Aiding Young Victim

Two staff from the Welsh Ambulance Service that came to the aid of a young man who presented himself to them with severe lacerations have been recognised with a CEO’s Commendation.

In a presentation at Cardiff East Ambulance Station on Monday 2 March, the story of how Non-Emergency Patient Transport crew Nick Boswell and Alex Adams, from Cardiff, went over and above the call of duty was told.

The pair had pulled up at Newport Road traffic lights in November of last year, on their way to a routine non-emergency patient when they were flagged down by a young man in a frantic state.

Alex immediately put the hazard warning lights on and Nick, who was in the back of the vehicle, opened the doors to be greeted by another man clearly severely wounded and entering into a state of shock.

Nick, who also has 10 years St John Ambulance experience, recalls the victim’s friend shouting “He’s been stabbed, he’s going to die”.

“I checked for signs of an assailant first and got the victim on board as soon as I could and shut the doors” said Nick.

Left to right: David Thomas, Nick Boswell, Jason Killens and Alex Adams

“He had three visible injuries but was bleeding heavily from an arterial wound which he had wrapped his own t-shirt around it as a makeshift bandage.

“I applied a blast dressing to the wound and elevated his arm in an attempt to stem the bleeding” he continued.

Meanwhile in the cab of the ambulance, quick thinking colleague Alex, remained calm and made the vital calls.

He said: “I radioed control to notify emergency medical colleagues and also called 999 for assistance from my mobile.’

“I stayed on the line providing updates on the patient’s condition and location details.”

All the while, Nick and Alex kept talking to the young victim to keep him calm and conscious.

The pair’s Operational Team Leader, David Thomas, was soon on scene and helped Nick apply another dressing to the wound which was still bleeding heavily.

Upon arrival of the emergency ambulance, and by now the police, the crew were able to move from the busy city centre traffic to a nearby bus stop and, after applying a tourniquet to the victims arm, transferred him to the emergency ambulance and on to the University Hospital of Wales for treatment.

David said: “Once the patient had been handed over I had a good chat with both members of the crew to make sure they were alright.’

“We then had to wait for the police CSI team to complete their investigations.”

Alex was able to take the vehicle back to their station where it was locked up before being taken away for deep cleaning.

The pair had a thorough debrief with David and were also referred to the service’s Trauma Risk Management team for mental welfare checks after such a traumatic and unexpected event.

Alex said: “We had marvellous support from all of our colleagues at the station plus chats with senior staff and offers of counselling.”

Remaining humble and playing down their actions that day, Nick said: “We are trained in First Aid and basic life support, but when people see an ambulance vehicle, they expect help. That’s all we did.”

Alex who is just 24 years old said: “It was a bit overwhelming.’

“But in the moment, you just do what you need to do.”

Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust Chief Executive, Jason Killens, made the presentation and said of the pair: “Nick and Alex exemplify true healthcare professionals.’

“They were faced with an unexpected and highly traumatic situation but remained calm, applying their training and experience, to help aid a positive outcome for the patient.’

“As a service, we are extremely proud of them for their actions that day, actions that saved a young man’s life.’

“It was fantastic to meet them and extend our gratitude and respect.”

At the ceremony, Alex was watched by his proud father Dave Adams who has 35 years’ service with Welsh Ambulance.

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