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Sheppey Crossing crash team honoured in the South East Coast Ambulance Service awards

By Emma Grove

Dozens of paramedics who were involved in the aftermath of the Sheppey Crossing crash have been praised for their lifesaving efforts.

In total, 63 staff were collectively given the Team of the Year title at the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) Awards earlier this month.

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

Crowds gather on the Sheppey Crossing after the pile-up
Crowds gather on the Sheppey Crossing after the pile-up

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

On the crossing and at a nearby rescue centre, staff treated people for minor injuries and gave them advice if symptoms developed.

SECAmb sent 30 vehicles and the team has been recognised for its efforts in what was described as an extremely challenging situation.

Coxheath emergency operations centre manager Clare Rudd had the task of getting enough emergency service vehicles to the scene and said initially it was treated as a routine road accident.

Already on the bridge, work was being done by those caught up in the incident including Sheppey community first responder Dan Jackson and technician Craig Stoneman and emergency care support worker Kayleigh Brewington who were both passing on their way to work.

Once on the scene, clinical team leader Louise Massen declared a major incident.

“What made the situation difficult was the lack of visibility and the collisions were over such a wide area,” she said. “When the first crews arrived they could still hear the thud of cars colliding.

“It was a fantastic team effort – from getting resources to the scene to getting everything organised effectively there was terrific teamwork.”

SECAmb chief executive Paul Sutton said: “I’m delighted we are honouring the many staff who were involved.

“This has been the largest incident the trust has dealt with and to see how well staff managed the incident, but equally how everyone pulled together as a team for the benefit of patients, was remarkable.”

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