Pete In The Papers

In 2001, The London Ambulance Service received an award for its handling of the Paddington/Ladbroke Grove train crash in 1999. I was one of a group of people chosen to travel to Yorkshire for the ceremony. We gave a short interview to the London newspaper, The Evening Standard. I didn’t see the copy where the interview appeared as I was already in Yorkshire, and had actually forgotten about being told it would be in the newspaper.

Thanks to American blogger Maggie from https://fromcavewalls.wordpress.com/
I now have a photo of the relevant page of that newspaper, which she came across by chance whilst researching something unrelated.

Another great benefit of international blogging.

(You can enlarge the image and see the text by clicking on it twice.)

For anyone who would like to read more about what happened that day in 1999, here is a link to my blog post.

Ambulance stories (41)

63 thoughts on “Pete In The Papers

  1. I’ve said it before, but thanks again for your service. By 2001 only in Hollywood or London could you get a guy named Ashley working a manly job. A guy Burt Lancaster’s hair on Harry Belafonte’s head no less!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to call him ‘Johnny Mathis’, Phil. 🙂
      (Ashley is a ‘unisex name’ in the UK, and rare in men. The female version is often spelled differently, as Ashleigh. I knew two during all that time, and they both worked in the ambulance service.)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hard day at the office Pete. Good for you representing the LAS. Hard for some to understand the rationale behind triage (had a robust discussion with a Dr at Clapham around why someone was not survivable in the situation we were in)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always found that hard, Bobby. The Inter-City train driver was the first one, as soon as we arrived. He was bleeding out already, and I had to leave him.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

    1. Thanks, David. We were used to being ignored, as it was just ‘the job’ to us. But this was a National Ambulance Council recognition award for the whole London Ambulance Service, so nothing at all to do with anyone in government of course.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  3. Pete, I love my newspaper account, but Iwas quite surprised to see this article. I cannot even remember what I was searching for, but I was surprised to see your photo. I thought you must have had a copy of the article, but decided to forward it on in the off chance you did not have a copy. I am glad I did. I can not imagine how hard that day must have been. I could never have done your job. I am always in awe of those who can perform such heart wrenching tasks. You have my respect.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Maggie. I have never actually searched for accounts about that day. After 23 years, I have never been able to put the incident out of my mind. But the article you found was very positive about what we did there, so that’s a nice thing to have.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The protocol at a major incident is to save people who have a chance of survival after treatment. The poor souls who were actually burning were beyond help.
      That was a hard day, Liz.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done Pete. I watch the Ambulance TV series and often wonder how they cope so well with everything they go through, but it seems these days they are often used as social workers rather than medics. Another service grossly undervalued.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even in my day, it was at least 60% social work. Lonely people, elderly housebound and disabled with no adequate council care, mentally ill people, domestic assaults, neglected children. Jobs like the train crash were rare. (Fortunately for those involved.)
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Deserved.
    Why was the award held in Yorkshire?
    I can vouch that LAS procedures were solid in dealing with such incidents. I still speak highly of LAS training & I talking 80-85.
    There were incidents where myself & crewmate were too stunned to talk to each other during an incident & for days after, but we just clicked & silently worked like a team.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was The National Ambulance Awards in many categories, Gavin. They held it in Harrogate in Yorkshire because it was easier for staff to travel from all over the UK. We went up by train from London and stayed overnight in a hotel.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

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