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Family thanks emergency service workers for saving father’s life after bonfire incident at Nottinghamshire home

A burns victim has thanked emergency service workers for helping save his life.

Derick Hill, who was 81-years-old at the time, was at his daughter’s home near Sherwood Forest, on May 7, 2022, when he was involved in a bonfire incident and needed urgent help.

Thanks to the quick response of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, East Midlands Ambulance Service, and officers from Nottinghamshire Police’s road policing unit and response teams, Derick was taken to hospital to be treated for burns to his face and hands.

Burns survivor Derick held a thank you event for the emergency service staff who helped him.
Burns survivor Derick held a thank you event for the emergency service staff who helped him.

Now two years later Derick and his family wanted to say a special thank you to everyone who attended and helped them when they needed it most.

Derick, a former firefighter, 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 its 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."

To say thank you to everyone who attended, Derick held a special thank you event on May 2 and praised all the emergency service responders for their help and quick response.

Chief Superintendent Suk Verma, head of local policing and specialist operations, said: “I want to thank Derick 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 Derick 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.”

Craig Parkin, chief fire officer, added: "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 Mr Hill and his family and want to thank our other emergency service responders for their professionalism and support at incidents as always."

Laura, the 999 emergency medical advisor, and Emily, one of the responding paramedics, said: "I remember going to the job, it was in the middle of nowhere.

“I remember it being quite calm considering, Heli-med had just landed, the fire brigade were sorting out the fire, and we managed to get the patient to the ambulance rather quickly and assess him in the ambulance. I remember treating him on the way, and him being a lovely chap.

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

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.

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

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