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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Two young people hurt in Alton Towers crash say thank you with cheque presentation to rescuers

21/03/2016

From left to right: Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford, Leah Washington, Joe Pugh, Fundraising Manager for Midlands Air Ambulance, Jo Bailey and Midlands Air Ambulance’s Dr Ben Clark.

Two young people seriously injured in the Alton Towers’ rollercoaster crash have raised over £14,000 for Staffordshire Safer Communities CIC and Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.

“It is a pleasure to accept this cheque on behalf of Staffordshire Safer Communities CIC. I would like to thank Leah and Joe for their incredible generosity in raising this money which will contribute towards the important work that our Service and partners undertake to improve the health, safety and well-being of our communities.”

Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford

Leah Washington and Joe Pugh presented a cheque for £6,000 to Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford, who accepted on behalf of the CIC. Jo Bailey, from Midlands Air Ambulance Charity received £8,701.10, when the pair visited the Service’s Headquarters in Stone on Friday (March 18).

Leah and Joe were trapped on the Smiler ride following an incident at Alton Towers Theme Park on June 2, 2015. Along with Victoria Balch and Daniel Thorpe they were the four most seriously injured casualties.

Two carriages had collided on the ride - one was empty while there were 16 guests
on the other. The carriages were suspended within a dip at a 45 degree angle,
approximately eight metres from the ground.

More than 30 firefighters worked alongside the first responders from Alton Towers, paramedics and doctors from West Midlands Ambulance Service and Midlands Air Ambulance Charity to rescue the casualties.

Due to the nature of the passengers’ injuries and the challenges caused by the ride’s position, fire and rescue crews worked tirelessly for around four- and- a-half hours to complete the operation.

Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford said: “It is a pleasure to accept this cheque on behalf of Staffordshire Safer Communities CIC. I would like to thank Leah and Joe for their incredible generosity in raising this money which will contribute towards the important work that our Service and partners undertake to improve the health, safety and well-being of our communities.”

Jo Bailey, from Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: “It has been a pleasure to get to know Joe and Leah and their family and friends, who have all been so incredibly generous towards our vitally important service. Their donation will help fund future life-saving air ambulance missions, which we are eternally grateful for.”

Leah Washington said: “This is another way of saying thank-you. We wanted to show how much we appreciated what they did for us on that day.”

Joe Pugh added: “They did so much for us and we wanted to give something back. The money can go a long way for charities.”
 
ENDS