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Public-spirited students praised by principal and police

Posted: 21 December 2023

Five students at West Nottinghamshire College have been formally recognised for their “great attitude and initiative” in responding to a road traffic accident which saw a classmate struck by a car.

Principal Andrew Cropley (first left) with (from left) Daniel, Molly, Kelcie, Philip, Aidyn, George, PC Connellan and PC Hudson at the presentation of the certificates of achievement.
Principal Andrew Cropley (first left) with (from left) Daniel, Molly, Kelcie, Philip, Aidyn, George, PC Connellan and PC Hudson at the presentation of the certificates of achievement.

Daniel Tomlinson, who studies the Advanced Diploma in Uniformed Protective Services, was hit when he stepped in front of the bus he had been travelling home on after attending college, leaving him laying injured in the road.

Without a moment’s hesitation, fellow students Philip Moxon and George Trafford rushed to 17-year-old Daniel’s aid. After the teenager assured them he wasn’t badly hurt, they quickly took control of the situation by directing traffic, joined by classmate Aidyn Carlisle, until the emergency services arrived.

Working under the direction of an off-duty officer from Highways England, who was on the scene, the trio took full responsibility for traffic-management – ensuring vehicles could safely pass – while classmate Molly Sunderland and sport student Kelcie Enever, who had been on the same bus, stayed with Daniel to provide care, comfort and reassurance, assisted by a community nurse who was in the area.

“We decided to redirect traffic so there was still traffic flow but it wasn’t going to hinder any of the people who were helping Daniel,” explained George, 16.

Molly, also 16, even telephoned Daniel’s mum to calmly inform her about the accident and assure her that her son was conscious and communicative.

She said: “While Philip, George and Aidyn directed traffic, Kelcie and I made sure that Daniel was okay. An elderly woman who lives opposite provided him was blankets and pillows.

“I reached into his pocket, got his mobile phone and rang his mum and made her aware of the situation. She arrived about 20 minutes later with Daniel’s sister.”

PCs Zoe Connellan and Paige Hudson, from Nottinghamshire Police’s Kirkby-in-Ashfield neighbourhood policing team, were the first emergency responders on the scene and immediately took charge of the incident, which occurred on Urban Road, Kirkby, during an evening rush hour last month.

Despite their offers to relieve the students of their duties once back-up had arrived, all five stayed to assist until Daniel had been taken to hospital by ambulance and the road was clear.

So impressed were they by the students’ actions that, later that evening, PC Connellan emailed the college to place on record their appreciation for their “amazing help during this incident.”

Now, the students’ selfless deeds have seen them be presented with certificates of recognition from college principal and chief executive Andrew Cropley. He was joined at the presentation by PCs Connellan and Hudson, who praised the learners for their invaluable assistance.

PC Connellan said: “The five students were a massive help; we couldn’t have managed the situation as well as we did without them. It was on a very busy road in rush hour and without their support it would have been even more challenging to keep Daniel safe and keep traffic moving.

“Everyone knows how busy the emergency services are these days, so them assisting with first aid before we got there was crucial to making sure that Daniel was alright.

“We offered to have officers take over from them but they were happy to stay for as long as we needed them.

“The students were a credit to themselves and the college, and we thought they deserved recognition for what they did.”

PC Hudson said: “Daniel was on the ground for quite a long time and while waiting for a paramedic to come and assist him, we had cars coming left, right and centre.

“For a time, there were only three of us at the scene and without the help of the students, we would have struggled.

“They did a really good job for us.”

Daniel was discharged from hospital the same evening after being assessed by accident and emergency staff.

Fortunately, he had suffered only minor injuries including bruising and swelling to his back, and scrapes to his knees and elbows, and felt well enough to return to college just a few days later.

Daniel said: “I’m extremely grateful to my fellow students – without them, things could’ve been much worse. I’m really grateful that they stepped up and helped.”

Explaining why they leapt into action, Aidyn said: “We were amongst the first people there and our college course has developed the sense that we have to be confident and take control in these type of situations.

“It is nice to have this recognition but the main thing is that Daniel is okay. I’m glad we were able to help him.”

Philip added: “George, Aidyn and I are all Army Cadets outside of college so we’ve been somewhat trained to help out the best we can.”

Mr Cropley said: “It is really heartening when people outside the college, particularly partners as important as the police, tell us about commendable things our students have done.

“Philip, George, Aidyn, Molly and Kelcie took responsibility, showed a really great attitude and initiative, and went out of their way to support Daniel and the police officers. They really cared about their injured colleague, when it’s often easy to turn the other cheek.

“Their ability to instinctively draw upon their training at a moment’s notice was so important.

“It is great to know these students unhesitatingly used the skills and behaviours that they have been taught in support of someone in distress. This showed so many great characteristics and I’m hugely proud.”

Simon Humphreys, programme area leader for uniformed protective services, said: “It was a fantastic reaction to a very traumatic and hectic incident on a public highway. Many people’s immediate response in these situations is to freeze but these students didn’t hesitate to assist.

“Their ability to remain level-headed and calm under duress is commendable. These are exactly the traits we try to instil in students through the teaching and training on the UPS course.

“This can only assist them going onto their chosen career paths, whether in the emergency services, military or other uniformed services.”

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Rebecca Howarth
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01623 900527
communications@wnc.ac.uk

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