A district nurse and her colleague, who provided vital first aid to victims of a serious car accident in Wales after finding the scene on a night shift, were commended for their actions.
Joanne Curry, a 32-year-old nurse, and her driver Simon Clifford were nearing the end of their family doctor duties when they saw a car leave the lane of the A467 in Abertillery.
Examining the scene, they found that the car had crashed into bushes on the side of the road and four people were injured, two of them seriously.
“Fortunately, I was able to provide first aid with the emergency equipment I had in the car”
Thinking on her feet and with equipment from the trunk of her car, Ms. Curry provided first aid in the minutes before the ambulance arrived, while Mr. Clifford assisted and directed the scene.
Ms. Curry explained: “We had just left a call in Nantyglo and were driving back down into the valley to our destination when I could see hazard lights from a car on the road in the distance.
“As we got closer, I could see that the vehicle on the passenger side was in the bushes and was badly damaged,” she said.
“I got out to see if I could provide assistance in my role as a nurse, and luckily I was able to provide first aid thanks to the emergency equipment I had in the car.”
When the fire and rescue services arrived, Ms. Curry informed them and continued to provide support.
Mr Clifford, who has been a driver for 15 years, said he believed the accident hadn’t happened long when they stopped to help.
“Joanne was brilliant and just left it; She was right out of the car and right over to the patient shouting to me what to get out of the trunk, ”he said.
“It was a difficult situation, but I’m glad we were able to help somehow,” he added.
The couple, who work for the health department at Aneurin Bevan University, received certificates this week from Jason Killens, the executive director of the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust.
“We praise her again for her quick thinking, which made a big difference that day.”
Mr. Killens praised her for her “technical competence and professionalism” in taking control of the scene in the critical first minutes after the crash on March 1, 2021.
“This was a complex and challenging scene without a doubt, but Joanne and Simon’s actions influenced survival in the right way,” he said.
“We praise her again for her quick thinking, which made a huge difference that day,” he added.
A total of four ambulances, three rapid response vehicles and the danger zone response team were dispatched to the scene.
The crews were also assisted by a doctor from MEDSERVE Wales and a preclinical intensive care team from the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service.
The four occupants of the car were taken to hospital for treatment, although ambulance services could not get any information about their condition.
Judith Paget, executive director of the health committee at Aneurin Bevan University, also praised Ms. Curry and Mr. Clifford for their “courageous actions”.
“Her daily responsibilities include providing excellent care to her patients, but the ability to adapt these skills to deliver emergency life-saving treatments is truly exceptional,” she said.
“Our NHS services in Wales work as a team and the way Joanne and Simon responded so selflessly is the epitome of that. I wish all accident victims a speedy recovery. “