Car-blaze hero paramedic is honoured at ceremony
The bravery of an off-duty paramedic who risked his life to pull an unconscious man from a burning car has been recognised with an award.
David King, who helped a police officer get the injured man out of the car – while petrol spilled on to the road – has received a commendation from the chief executive of the East Midlands Ambulance Service (Emas).
Mr King sprang into action after he came across the accident scene as he drove home in Scraptoft Lane, Leicester, in June.
He was one of eight paramedics – five from Leicestershire and Rutland – recognised in the ambulance service's annual awards, which celebrate exceptional service.
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"I'm very happy to receive an award like this," said Mr King, 41, of Loughborough.
"To be honest, I just did what I had to do. My training is such that it just kicked in and I got on with it.
"I was just doing my job when I attended to the man in the car. This is what I and my colleagues do day in, day out.
"In a way, I'm receiving this award on behalf of all my colleagues who deserve a medal."
Mr King said he had received a letter of thanks from the injured man's mother, and had been told he was making a good recovery.
Other paramedics recognised included two members of Emas's hazardous area response team.
Andrew Wilde and Stuart Cooke were called to a fire at a business premises, went into the building, found the casualty and took them to a place of safety to begin treatment.
They acted before the fire service arrived on the scene, leaving firefighters to focus on the blaze.
Kathryn Zanker and Hannah Tyman, who are crewmates, received an award for putting a patient's safety before their own in a very challenging situation. They were called out after a member of the public reported seeing a man with a rope and a knife near a bridge.
Despite their attempts to rescue him, the man jumped from the bridge with a rope around his neck and into the water below.
The pair then worked with firefighters to pull the man to safety and provide treatment.
Phil Milligan, chief executive of Emas, presented the commendations at the organisation's annual general meeting. He said: "This is my opportunity to recognise those staff who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
"They have shown compassion, bravery and an unwavering dedication to helping those in need, sometimes at their own expense.
"I am immensely proud of the work my Emas colleagues do every day. These individuals demonstrate what it means to be the best."
Karlie Thompson, Emas's assistant director of operations for Leicestershire and Rutland, said: "I am very proud of my colleagues who put the needs of patients above their own in exceptionally difficult circumstances.
"No day is ever the same for our teams, and these stories show how their care makes a difference in the most challenging situations."