Paramedics and police praise primary school children for their bravery during crash

Seventeen primary school children and two teachers awarded for their bravery

Seventeen primary school children and two teachers have been awarded with bravery certificates from the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) and Durham Police who went to their aid after their school bus crashed.

Pupils from Evenwood Primary School, Bishop Auckland, were travelling to their swimming lesson, when their school bus was involved in a collision with another vehicle.

Today, clinical care manager at NEAS Ben Barber and student paramedic Hannah Doherty, along with Police Community Support Officers Natasha Bree and Michael Atkinson from Durham Constabulary have returned to the school to talk to the children and award them all with certificates, joining them at their weekly celebration assembly.   

Earlier this month police were quickly followed by paramedic Angela Clarke and student paramedic Hannah at the scene to find the front of the school bus heavily damaged with the door jammed shut.  Police Community Support Officer, Darren Miles climbed through the emergency door and assisted the children off the bus where Angela and Hannah assessed the children and teachers for injuries.

Paramedic Angela, who was disappointed she was unable to attend the reunion, explained: “We arrived to find that many of the children were shaken up and one of the teachers was injured.  Luckily, no one else was really hurt but the children were incredibly brave after what must have been a really traumatic experience for them.”

Student paramedic Hannah is in her second year training to be a paramedic at Sunderland University and has worked at NEAS for four years.  She added: “I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to return to the school. It’s such a good opportunity to be able to give them recognition for how brave they were and to be able to personally give them the certificates and see the smiles back on their faces.”

Speaking at the assembly, head teacher, Helen Sutherland said: “All of us at Evenwood Primary school are incredibly proud of how well the pupils handled the incident and they are all such a credit to the school and their parents.”

Millie, aged 8, was one of the pupils on the school bus at the time of the incident. Millie’s mum Tracey Townsend contacted NEAS to pass on her thanks, saying: “I would like to thank everyone for looking after my daughter. She was very upset but said they were all lovely.  As a mum it is my worst nightmare to not be there when she needs me but she has talked non-stop about the paramedics and the care they gave so I know she was well looked after.”

Unable to attend the reunion, PCSO Darren Miles from Durham Constabulary who attended the incident, said: “This was a joint effort amongst emergency services and a shining example of the teamwork involved in incidents like this.  The pupils remained extremely calm in a scary situation and were very brave given what had just happened. Their parents, teachers and fellow pupils should be extremely proud of them.”

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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