Team effort at Alton Towers response recognised at Pride of Britain Awards

It’s an oft used phrase, but in this case, “This award is for the whole team”, exactly sums up the feelings of the two doctors and a critical care paramedic who were given a Pride of Britain Award last night for their work rescuing the four people trapped in the front row of the Smiler Ride at Alton Towers on 2nd June.

Pride-of-Britain-Awards-2016Army doctor Major David Cooper and aircrew paramedic Tom Waters were on the Midlands Air Ambulance at Cosford when they were called to the theme park following the incident in June. Dr Ben Clark, who is a volunteer with North Staffordshire BASICS emergency doctors was also mobilised to the scene.

pride-of-britain-2Working with about 50 other ambulance staff, the local Alton Community First Responders, staff at the Alton Towers Park and firefighters, the three climbed onto the Smiler Ride to free the trapped victims.

Speaking at the awards last night, West Midlands Ambulance Service Paramedic Tom Waters, said:

“We need to remember that it wasn’t just us up there. This was a massive team effort by everyone there.

Receiving the award does mean a lot, but for us, the real heroes are Vicky, Daniel, Joe and Leah who were trapped; they were so brave on the day and still are.

Major David Cooper said:

“The patients are the real heroes. They have shown exceptional courage. We just did what we needed to do.”

Dr Ben Clark added:

“When you are faced with a situation like that, making sure you get a good outcome for the patients is your primary focus. Although the rescue was incredibly complex we were all driven by the need to do everything we could to save Leah, Joe, Vicky and Daniel.”

pride-of-britain-1WMAS’ Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Steve Wheaton, said:

“I am so proud of my staff and the fantastic job they did. It cannot be stressed what a tremendous job everyone did on the day – Tom, Dave and Ben couldn’t have done what they did without the help of all of the other people involved.”

You can watch the awards on ITV at 8pm, Thursday 1st October.


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