Senior Aircraftman Bartley, an RAF medic for nine years, was driving back to Linton-on-Ouse from duty at RAF Church Fenton when he came across the incident and reacted quickly to help prevent serious injuries deteriorating further until the emergency services arrived.
Senior Aircraftman Bartley explained:
There were two cars, each with two people inside. I was the first medical person on the scene so I quickly assessed the situation and found that one of the cars contained a woman with an injured leg and pain in her back and spine.
The other people involved were not badly injured so I concentrated on the woman. I established that she needed to keep her cervical spine stable so I got in the back of the car and manually supported her head and neck to prevent further injury and to reassure her as she was in pain and shock.
By this time, another RAF serviceman - Sergeant Ken Winslade - had arrived and was directing traffic while waiting for the emergency services to arrive. Senior Aircraftman Bartley supported the woman’s neck and spine for over an hour and continued to provide support whilst paramedics assessed and treated the casualty.
RAF medics are trained to provide immediate emergency care for Service personnel and civilians on RAF bases and also provide airfield medical cover for flying training and operations.
Senior Aircraftman Bartley added:
There was no question of not helping. My training as an RAF medic kicked in and I knew what to do straight away. Not having the spinal support kit to hand I did what I had to do to support the casualty’s neck and spine. Little did I know that I’d have to do it for over an hour, but we got to get to know each other quite well!
Group Captain Terry Jones, Station Commander at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, said:
I’m delighted that SAC Bartley and Sergeant Winslade were able to offer some assistance. It’s always a bit unnerving to approach the scene of an accident knowing that you are the only people who can offer help until the emergency services arrive.
In this case, SAC Bartley’s training kicked in and allowed him to make a real difference to the medical outcome for the woman involved whilst Sergeant Winslade prevented further accidents by directing traffic. We’re very proud of both of them.
Senior Aircraftman Bartley has since had a card from the woman involved in the incident thanking him for his help and support.