Date published: 15 May 2024

Emergency Service workers were invited to Mansfield Fire Station in Nottinghamshire on 2 May 2024 by local resident Derrick, as a thank you for their role in saving him when he was burned on 7 May 2022.

Crews from East Midlands Ambulance Service, Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to Derrick's daughter's garden, near Sherwood Forest, after he was involved in a bonfire incident.

After fire crews extinguished the fire and assisted with first aid for then 81-year-old Derrick who had burns to his face and hands, he was handed over to the care of our ambulance crew and Heli-med.

On 2 May, at an afternoon tea to celebrate and thank those involved in the emergency response, Derrick, who used to work as a firefighter, thanked all emergency service responders, praising their quick and professional response.

Derrick said "When we needed you, you all came to help us in your respective roles. You were kind, thoughtful, mindful that you were helping people in a frightening situation.

"Having been there a number of times myself, sometimes it can be tempting to go about the job and it’s duties in a routine manner. But you put me and my family at the heart of what you did that day, and it made a real difference – something which I hope (from an old timer, to those younger in their roles) you take with you and remember on every job you attend."

The 999 call was answered by Emergency Medical Advisor Laura Sherman.

She said: “I advised Derrick’s daughter what to do until the ambulance got there.

“It’s nice to be able to come back and meet someone who has recovered.”

Paramedic Emily Ward added: "I remember going to the job, it was in the middle of nowhere.

“I remember seeing Heli-med landing and the fire brigade were sorting out the fire.

“We managed to get the patient to the ambulance rather quickly and assess him. I provided treatment to Derrick on the way to hospital, and remember him being a lovely chap.

"It's not very often at all that we find out what's happened to the patient once we drop them off at hospital, so it's nice to come back and meet somebody who's recovered."

Craig Parkin, Chief Fire Officer, said "we're proud to keep our communities safe, and this is just one example of the incidents we attend every day.

"We're grateful to be recognised by Derrick and his family and want to thank our other emergency service responders for their professionalism and support at incidents, as always."

Chief Superintendent Suk Verma, head of local policing and specialist operations, said: “I want to thank Derrick and his family for organising the event today and recognising the work of all the first responders who attended. 

“Our response officers and a team from our roads policing unit attended on the day to investigate and make sure everyone was okay and I know those who responded were so glad to hear Derrick was okay.

“It’s our job, just like the fire service and ambulance service to keep our communities safe and we’ll always be there to help those in need.”

Derrick’s family would like to get the message out to the public that twenty minutes of tepid water on burns prevents a lot of scarring and enables more recovery.

Despite undergoing surgeries and skin grafts because of the nature of the incident, in Derrick’s case he was able to get more independence back following the incident thanks to the twenty-minute water treatment that the emergency services undertook.