17 October 2016
An off-duty Securitas UK officer recently took control in the aftermath of a road traffic accident, earning the praise of his employer and the family of the injured victim.
Terry Clark, a Security Team Leader working at Virgin Money’s Gosforth, Newcastle Head Office, was leaving the Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, on the afternoon of Sunday 9 October having completed an Emergency Fire Crew Capability (EFCC) course. Terry is one of over 600 of Securitas’s officers to have undergone the training, which includes fundamental fire and rescue skills as well as first aid training.
Terry, drove past a Toyota Yaris which had evidently been involved in an accident. Instantly deciding to turn around and offer assistance, he arrived at the scene to find that the driver of the Toyota – the only vehicle involved – had swerved to avoid a motorcycle travelling in the same direction which had cut in to avoid an oncoming vehicle. The Toyota rolled several times and luckily, the vehicle ended up on its wheels, although the roof had caved in, the passenger side A-pillar had folded and the windscreen was shattered. The driver of the following car had stopped to assist and called emergency services, but nobody appeared to have taken control and vehicles continued to speed by in both directions.
The driver of the Toyota, 23-year-old student Holly Bradshaw, had been driving from Chipping Norton to the nearby village of Little Compton with shopping for her grandfather. She was sitting on the load space with the car’s boot open. Terry, bringing to bear his newly-acquired first aid training, assisted her to the lying down position away from the road and supported her neck to avoid further damage whilst waiting for the paramedic, doctor and police to arrive. Taking control of the situation, he instructed the three other people who had stopped to move his vehicle on to the grass verge, direct traffic safely around the scene and chase the ambulance service. All the while, Terry was comforting Holly, who was drifting in and out of consciousness, and reassuring her that help was on its way, along with her parents Brad and Sue. When the emergency services arrived some 35 minutes later, Terry continued to stabilise Holly’s neck whilst she was being assessed and put into the ambulance to be taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
Fortunately, Holly was discharged the same evening with bruising and soft tissue injuries, having undergone a series of X rays and CAT scans.
Terry commented: “It’s a huge coincidence that I had literally just completed the EFCC course and in particular, the first aid training half an hour beforehand. Looking at Holly’s car, it was a miracle that she didn’t sustain more serious injuries, or worse.” He continued: “We’re trained to take control in certain situations, and I also think the fact that I was wearing uniform and the Fire Services College lanyard reassured the others that I knew what to do.”
Holly’s father Brad said: “Holly was very lucky to get away in one piece, and if there had been a passenger, they certainly wouldn’t have come off so lightly. When we arrived at the scene we didn’t know what to expect, and it was very reassuring to see that Terry had taken control of the situation and was supporting Holly so well. He emailed me that evening to check on Holly’s progress and we’re still in touch. We’re all very grateful for his assistance, level-headedness and genuine concern.”
"Each year we see an ever increasing number of instances where one of our Trained Fire contingency crew assist in an accident or incident in which an individual or individuals have sustained serious injury. During the last few incidents we have been the first at the scene and in each instance the knowledge and training has kicked in and we have either saved life or prevented further injury. I'm really proud of all of our EFCC trained staff and I'm sure many of the their positive and courageous actions are not captured as they all believe they are simply doing their job and utilising the skills and knowledge we have given them. " Shaun Kennedy- Securitas Director of Specialised Protective Services