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Whilst answering a routine call for assistance in a nearby village, South Central Ambulance paramedic practitioner and freemason Malcolm Silvester and his colleague came across a motorcyclist lying in the road with his motorcycle by his side and the traffic backed up behind him. They immediately stopped, radioed for assistance and attended on the casualty. Fortunately he was not seriously injured but in some pain from a fractured wrist, which they were able to relieve. Shortly afterwards the 999 ambulance arrived but, as they were handing over the casualty, they heard another siren approaching. This turned out to be a police motorcyclist travelling at high speed to attend the same incident on the opposite carriageway, which by now was jammed with cars slowing to catch a glimpse of the accident. As the police motorcyclist attempted to overtake the stalled traffic, there was an almighty bang and then silence as the siren stopped and the policeman and his motorcycle flew through the air. Everyone looked at each other in absolute disbelief. Clearly a car had pulled out from the near side of the carriageway into his path causing him to crash.
The police constable came to rest some 100 metres further down on the central reservation. Leaving the original casualty in the capable hands of his partner, Malcolm and the other ambulance crew rushed to attend on the PC lying on the grass. Malcolm recalls thinking the worst: “How could anyone survive this?” Incredibly the PC was still alive but in a very serious condition with multiple injuries. Fortunately he was conscious and able to tell them his name, Nick Barham. On closer examination, they found that he had multiple fractures in an alarming number of places, all complicated by a collapsed lung and internal bleeding. Assisted by others and a doctor, they worked on Nick at the scene, stabilising his condition and preparing him for onward transportation to hospital. In view of his terrible injuries and the severity of the situation, the Air Ambulance was called in and took him to the major trauma unit at Southampton General Hospital, where he underwent immediate extensive surgery to stabilise his condition and save his legs. Since then, he has had several more operations and treatments and despite all this, Nick has remained positive throughout.
Some time later and along with other members of the rescue team, Malcolm was awarded the Chief Constable’s Certificate of Thanks for his part in saving Nick’s life. After the ceremony Malcolm said, “Although I was very proud to receive such an award, it was a massive team effort that day including Nick’s own colleagues at the scene. The best award for me though was to see Nick looking so well and to see him with his partner and family. In the 25 years of my career in the Ambulance Service I have never experienced such a surreal incident as that and it is something that I do not want experience again. Nick is such a positive person
and is an inspiration to us all.”
At a recent meeting of the Totton and Eling Town Council, freemason Rodney Hawkins of the Eastleigh based Hampshire Lodge of Emulation was presented with a Civic Award by the Chairman, Councillor Mel Molyneux. The award was for work carried out for the benefit of the local community in general and the Royal British Legion in particular, most especially for his work planning and administrating the annual Remembrance Day Parade and Service. Rodney has organised the event for the past 14 years, in which time it has grown from a small gathering to one which is about 1000 strong. The parade is now attended by an Army contingent from Marchwood, local Army and Air Training Corps Cadets, several Scout and Guide Groups, the local Fire Brigade and Cadets from St John Ambulance. A member of the Armed Forces for 24 years and Totton resident, Rodney’s other community activities include 20 years as a Magistrate on the Southampton Bench and membership of the Totton Twinning Association. Rodney Hawkins
Malcolm Silvester
Insight • Issue 7

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