Paramedic explains one of toughest challenges of his career after attending multi-vehicle crash

PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 November 2020

Dan Read (pictured), a critical care paramedic at Magpas Air Ambulance, was coming to the end of his day shift before receiving an emergency call of a multi-vehicle collision. His shift was then extended by six hours. Picture: MAGPAS AIR AMBULANCE

Dan Read (pictured), a critical care paramedic at Magpas Air Ambulance, was coming to the end of his day shift before receiving an emergency call of a multi-vehicle collision. His shift was then extended by six hours. Picture: MAGPAS AIR AMBULANCE

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A paramedic has explained how he dealt with one of the toughest challenges of his career when he attended a multi-vehicle collision, sparking a large fire and seriously injuring five people.

Dan Read (pictured), a critical care paramedic at Magpas Air Ambulance, was coming to the end of his day shift before receiving an emergency call of a multi-vehicle collision. His shift was then extended by six hours. Picture: MAGPAS AIR AMBULANCEDan Read (pictured), a critical care paramedic at Magpas Air Ambulance, was coming to the end of his day shift before receiving an emergency call of a multi-vehicle collision. His shift was then extended by six hours. Picture: MAGPAS AIR AMBULANCE

Dan Read, a critical care paramedic at Magpas Air Ambulance from Ely, was called to the incident in Lincolnshire as he was coming to the end of his shift.

“I was working a day shift with Dr Ali; we started at 7am and had had a fairly busy day attending to incidents across Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire,” Dan said.

“As we were coming to the end of our shift, another emergency call came in at 6:30pm. There had been a road traffic collision involving multiple vehicles in Lincolnshire.”

Dan worked alongside the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), fire and rescue, first responders, police and the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) at the scene.

He and Ali also worked with a search and rescue team from Humberside, which was a rare experience for the paramedic.

“Ali and I are there to bring an extra level of care to the patients. We’re specially trained to provide treatments and perform procedures there and then, that would usually only be available in a hospital A&E department,” Dan said.

“We had to assess, treat and manage several patients on the roadside. One man had sustained multiple severe injuries and required a sedation to manage them before we could convey all our patients to hospital.”

Dan knew he had to take the most seriously injured to Hull Royal Infirmary, the closest major trauma centre, but decided to speed up the process.

“It would have taken a long time to drive these patients to Hull, so the obvious choice was to transport them by helicopter,” he said.

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All three patients were airlifted together by the search and rescue team, arriving in Hull in less than 30 minutes, while two other patients who suffered less serious injuries were taken to more local hospitals by EMAS.

After all equipment was cleaned and in order, it was then another two-and-a-half-hours until Dan returned to Magpas’ operations base.

“We were shattered; our twelve-and-a-half-hour shift had turned in to an eighteen-and-a-half-hour shift, but it was so worth it to know we had made a difference and helped people who were having the worst day of their lives,” he said.

Magpas Air Ambulance relies on generous donations to continue to provide hospital level care to patients across the East of England and beyond, 24/7. For more information, visit https://www.magpas.org.uk/.

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