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November 27, 2010

UK off-duty paramedic praised for quick actions

By Sam Blackledge
The Leatherhead Advertiser

LONDON — An off-duty paramedic who was first on the scene after a lorry fell on to a train has been praised for his quick reaction.

A cement mixer lorry smashed through a wall on the A244 near Oxshott and landed on a moving train on Friday, November 5.

James Curtis, a London Ambulance Service paramedic, was driving into London ahead of a night shift when he reached the crash site just after 3pm.

Mr Curtis, 30, said: "A few people had stopped on the bridge and I noticed the huge hole in the wall where the lorry had crashed through.

"I looked down at the scene and was quite shocked at what I saw. It looked like something from a film set."

Mr Curtis made his way down to the tracks and treated the driver of the lorry before police, fire and ambulance services arrived.

"After treating the lorry driver, I worked alongside other ambulance staff to help a patient on the train," he said.

"He was trapped under where the roof had caved in and was in a lot of pain so I was able to give him some pain relief."

Five people were hurt in the incident, but all escaped without serious injuries.

Mr Curtis, who has worked for the service for four years, added: "I was shocked at the scale of the incident, but was glad to be able to help in some way.

"If the carriage had been full it could have been a lot worse. It was a miracle that everyone survived."

Edward Potter, ambulance operations manager, said: "James didn't think twice about stopping his car and starting to provide treatment immediately and I think he made a big difference to those patients.

"We're extremely proud of what James did and despite giving up several hours of his own time to help at the scene he went on to work a seven-hour shift, which shows real dedication."

Copyright 2010 Northcliffe Media Limited

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