Date: 22nd October, 2019
An Amesbury man received a bronze medal from the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire at a presentation at Salisbury Fire Station on 18 October, following his actions at a road traffic collision in November 2018.
Luke Ridley was presented with a Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation at this year’s Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service awards ceremony by Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell in recognition of his bravery. In September, it was announced that Luke has also been awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal.
After witnessing a car leave the carriageway of the A303, Luke immediately pulled his van over and went to help. The car had rolled over onto the driver’s side, trapping the occupant. Luke was advised by the Police Control room to get something from his van to break the windows with, so he ran back to get a pickaxe. It was with this that he managed to get the boot open and then speak to the driver inside. She was conscious and disoriented but could not get her seat belt off. A fire had started to develop within the vehicle. Luke acted quickly and used a hand saw from his own vehicle to cut the seatbelt. He managed to encourage the driver to reach into the back of the car where Luke then pulled her out and to safety.
Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell said: “The Queen’s Gallantry Medal is awarded for exemplary acts of bravery and the Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation is the highest award I can offer to a member of the public for acts of outstanding bravery, selflessness or courage in the face of adversity. In exceptional cases, I will also make a nomination to other bodies for recognition. Luke’s actions embodied the values of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and I’m extremely pleased that the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire has also taken this opportunity to recognise him for his incredible bravery on that day. It was my honour to make the presentation of a bronze medal on their behalf.”