Ambulance service honour for brave crew

Buxton paramedics Louise Smith and Joanne Taylor have been commended for their actions.
Buxton paramedics Louise Smith and Joanne Taylor have been commended for their actions.

A Buxton ambulance crew has been commended for their actions after being involved in a crash while transporting a patient.

Paramedic Louise Smith and ambulance technician Joanne Taylor were taking their patient to hospital in Chesterfield when a car travelling in the opposite direction aquaplaned and spun directly into their path on the A619.

Immediately after the collision, quick-thinking Joanne managed to move the ambulance out of the carriageway to prevent any further accidents, despite the airbag going off in her face and smoke coming from the vehicle.

Paramedic Louise, who had been in the back of the ambulance treating the patient, was thrown around the vehicle by the impact, suffering an injury to her head, while Joanne received a number of burns and whiplash.

But the pair sprang straight into action, with Joanne removing the patient they were transporting to safety along with all the equipment needed to treat them, before Louise went to help the passengers in the car.

It was only once other crews arrived and were able to treat those involved that Louise and Joanne received treatment for their own injuries.

Sadly, a man and a boy in the car died as a result of their injuries despite the best efforts of everyone involved.

An inquest into their deaths took place last year when the coroner praised Louise and Joanne for their efforts.

And they have now received a Chief Executive’s Commendation from East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) Chief Executive Sue Noyes for their actions on that tragic day.

Louise, 40, said: “There was nothing we could have done to avoid the collision, the car was right in front of us.

“My main concern was helping everybody else.

“Once we knew we were both okay we did what we could for our patient and the people in the car.

“It never crossed our minds to do anything else.”

And Joanne, 47, added: “We didn’t think about anything until we stopped.”

Incredibly, the pair were back at work just a few days after the accident, keen to get back out on the road treating patients.

On learning about their commendations, Louise said: “I think it’s nice that something positive has come out of something so terrible. We never expected anything.”

And Buxton Station Manager Steve Harrison was also full of praise for his crew, adding: “They did exceptionally well in the circumstances.

“They really went above and beyond and have made us all in the High Peak very proud.”