Local firemen are commended for complex rescue of man trapped in crashed car

The Ballymena Wholetime Crew. )Back Row from left)T/Station Commander Adrian Armour, Firefighter David McComb, Crew Commander William Campbell, Watch Commander Ian Stirling, Firefighter Ciaran McCambridge, (Front Row from left) Firefighter David Houston, Firefighter Brendan McAlister. (Submitted Picture).
The Ballymena Wholetime Crew. )Back Row from left)T/Station Commander Adrian Armour, Firefighter David McComb, Crew Commander William Campbell, Watch Commander Ian Stirling, Firefighter Ciaran McCambridge, (Front Row from left) Firefighter David Houston, Firefighter Brendan McAlister. (Submitted Picture).

Local firefighters have received a prestigious Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation for their rescue of a man trapped in a crashed car.

The Firefighters from Ballymena, Antrim and Magerafelt Fire Stations received the recognition for their exemplary professionalism and rescue techniques by working together in the complex release of the casualty who was trapped in a car on the Magerhalane Road, Randalstown, on December 22, last year.

The Antrim Retained Crew. (Back Row from left)  T/Crew Commander Colin Scott,  Firefighter Paul Allen, T/Watch Commander Crawford Scott, T/Crew Commander Kieran Lawless, Firefighter Joe Donnelly,  Firefighter David Adams,  T/Station Commander Adrian Armour. (Front Row from left) Firefighter Stephen Forsythe,  Firefighter Mark McDowell, Firefighter Michael Waring, Firefighter Colin Lundy,  Firefighter Fulton Adams. (Submitted Picture0.

The Antrim Retained Crew. (Back Row from left) T/Crew Commander Colin Scott, Firefighter Paul Allen, T/Watch Commander Crawford Scott, T/Crew Commander Kieran Lawless, Firefighter Joe Donnelly, Firefighter David Adams, T/Station Commander Adrian Armour. (Front Row from left) Firefighter Stephen Forsythe, Firefighter Mark McDowell, Firefighter Michael Waring, Firefighter Colin Lundy, Firefighter Fulton Adams. (Submitted Picture0.

When the Fire Crews arrived at the incident they were confronted with a car which had collided with a tree, the impact of which was so forceful that the car was almost wrapped around the tree.

Paramedics were already at the scene and were removing the driver who had critical injuries. The male passenger remained trapped in the car.

Firefighters stabilised the vehicle and removed the roof of the car which allowed the paramedics and the doctor better access to treat the casualty before a further attempt was made to rescue the man.

In order to get the passenger out of the car it was necessary to move the car without causing him further injury. Using cutters, spreaders, specialist saws and lever bars it took an hour of delicate work for the Firefighters to release the casualty.

Dale Ashford, Chief Fire Officer, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said: “It is my privilege to present the Firefighters who attended this incident, under the direction of Watch Commander Ian Stirling (Ballymena White Watch) and Watch Commander Robin Caskey (Magherafelt Retained) with the Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation. They were faced with a serious, life threatening situation on arrival at this incident. This accolade is to recognise the teamwork, innovation and the resourcefulness they displayed at the incident.

“These Firefighters undoubtedly saved a man’s life through their speed, care and professionalism and I am delighted to publically recognise their effort. This incident demonstrates the calibre of Firefighters we have in NIFRS. They are a credit to the Fire & Rescue Service and to the local communities they serve.”

The Firefighters from White Watch Ballymena, Antrim Retained and Magherafelt Retained will be officially presented with their Chief Fire Officer Commendation Certificate later this year.