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Sheppey Crossing crash paramedics and St John Ambulance volunteers honoured at the Ambulance Service Institute Awards

By Emma Grove

Paramedics and volunteers who treated people injured in the Sheppey Crossing crash have been honoured for their work.

More than 60 South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) staff who were involved in Kent’s largest ever road accident were recognised at the Ambulance Service Institute (ASI) Awards on Thursday.

A ceremony took place at the House of Lords in London which saw members of the team and their colleagues from the Kent Air Ambulance presented with the Special Incident Award for 2014.

South East Coast Ambulance Service staff were honoured at the Ambulance Service Institute awards. Picture: Simon Hilldrew and the ASI.

More than 150 vehicles were caught up in the accident on the fog-covered bridge on Thursday, September 5 last year.

There were no fatalities but 35 people were taken to hospital, some with serious injuries, and another 200 were assessed and treated at the scene.

Volunteers from St John Ambulance were also commended at the ceremony for their involvement in the crash.

They were presented with the Private/Voluntary Ambulance Service Team of the Year title for their contribution in supporting other emergency services at the accident and several other incidents in the region.

As news of the collision broke, six local St John first-aiders went to the scene to provide help to those with minor injuries and help those stuck in the traffic.

The Lord McColl of Dulwich CBE presenting Philip Le Masonry and other St John Ambulance team members with their award. Picture: Simon Hildrew and ASI.

Islander Philip Le Masonry was the co-ordinator for volunteers at the scene.

He said: “I feel very proud to get the award as do all the members that turned out from Sheppey.

“It’s a nice honour.”

Regional director Mark Farmer said: “Our volunteers’ efforts show how you can play a key role in supporting your local community by volunteering with us.”

Mr Le Masonry said the Sheppey branch was keen to recruit more members, to boost its numbers to about 30 from 20.

The 63-year-old said: “We are there to help people and potentially save somebody’s life.

“The first aid is not difficult and a lot of it is common sense.”

They meet every Tuesday from 7pm to 9pm at the headquarters in Queenborough Road, Halfway.

Anyone is welcome to go along or visit www.sja.org.uk

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