This year a Wales Air Ambulance crew received the prestigious Gail Williamsâ€™ Award for their efforts in the Glyn-Neath mine rescue.
The winners, put forward by Wales Air Ambulance Operations Manager Jason Williams for their clinical excellence in attending the mine collapse, were the Swansea based crew of HEMS paramedics Chris Connor and Jason Hughes and pilot Captain Grant Elgar.
The crew were faced with a patient who had been pinned by his lower body 4km underground and suffered severe pelvic, femur and calf injuries. Despite the dangerous, difficult working conditions Chris and Jason made the decision to enter the mine to start treatment.
The environment was immensely challenging as it was dirty, loud, compact and busy.Â The WAA crew worked quickly and efficiently with a team of 20 miners for an hour and a half underground to bring the patient to the surface, escaping the claustrophobic conditions of the mine.
Once on the surface Wales Air Ambulance airlifted the patient to Morriston Hospital where he recovered after further treatment.
Presenting the award in memory of his late wife Gail Williams, sponsor Michael Williams from Cwmllynfell said: â€œWales has a proud mining history and it is right that we offer the best possible emergency care to our miners when accidents occur. This incident was a testing one for the crew involved and despite the dangers they provided a first class service. On behalf of Gail, myself and our daughters, Megan and Sioned, Iâ€™m delighted that there were such worthy winners of this yearâ€™s award.â€
The award recognises individuals or teams who have provided clinical excellence in the pre-hospital setting. After deliberation, the short listing panel, which includes Mr Williams and WAS clinical representatives, recommended that three of the nominations stood out as being truly worthy of recognition.
Jason Hughes HEMS Paramedic said: â€œWeâ€™re really proud to win this award; I was just doing my job albeit a more difficult one than usual and Iâ€™d like to think that most paramedics would have made the same call. This is the first accolade that Chris and I have won and weâ€™d really like to thank Michael Williams for his support as well as the public who fund the charity to make our work possible.â€
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