Ambulance Staff Recognised at Brave@Heart Awards

 Wednesday 2 October 2013

Two Ambulance Care Assistants from Glasgow who rescued brothers from a burning car were presented with the Scottish Government’s Brave@heart Award in recognition for their courageous act.

Ambulance Care Assistants Elaine Giles and Ronald McLaren from Glasgow West Ambulance Station were returning from a routine transfer to Campbeltown Hospital when they spotted a car with two young men trapped inside which had left the road and was belching smoke.

The car doors were jammed shut but the Ambulance Care Assistants managed to help one of the young men escape through a window. They then returned to the car to help the other occupant, who had sustained head injuries and was bleeding profusely, to escape through a now open door.  As they moved away from the vehicle it burst into flames. Elaine and Ronald  then attended to the patients' injuries after contacting the Ambulance Control Centre to request emergency assistance.

When the Accident & Emergency crew arrived the pair continued to direct traffic and attempted to extinguish the fire before returning to Glasgow to finish their shift. The young men turned out to be brothers and the younger sustained a back injury while the older was airlifted to the Southern General in Glasgow with head injuries and a ruptured stomach. Elaine and Ronald’s quick thinking and professionalism saved their lives.

First Minister, Alex Salmond said:
“Every day, service men and women from Scotland’s emergency services come face to face with life-threatening situations in order to save lives. To be willing to put your life on the line to help others is a truly selfless act which deserves to be recognised.
“On land and on sea, these courageous Scots have been confronted with emergency situations and their subsequent actions have saved lives. I was privileged to meet Elaine Giles and Ronald McLaren and hear the amazing story of how during a routine transfer they spotted a car off the road with two young brothers trapped inside belching smoke. They called the emergency services and helped both severely injured occupants escape just before the vehicle it burst into flames – then returned to finish their shifts.
Pauline Howie, Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service, said:
"Elaine and Ronald showed both courage and professionalism as their only thought was to help the two men in the vehicle. Their life-saving actions and commitment were exemplary and they are a credit to the Scottish Ambulance Service."