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Fire instructor recognised with global award after saving life of 12-year-old boy

Published: 31 Jan 2018

A fire instructor at the Serco-operated International Fire Training Centre in Teesside has been recognised by the company with a global award after he saved the life of 12-year-old boy.

Neil Crosby, 54, was out driving with his young son when he was flagged down by a very distressed women who told him a boy had been dragged under a vehicle and was seriously injured.

Drawing on the experience of his day job as a fire instructor and his first aid training, Neil immediately took control of the situation, asking for an ambulance to be called and for a bystander to request towels and clinical gloves from a nearby hotel.

For the next 25 minutes until the air ambulance arrived, Neil stemmed the boy’s bleeding and successfully opened his airways. The boy was taken to hospital by air ambulance and where he underwent treatment for his injuries and survived, being released from hospital more than six months after the incident.

Merseyside Police told Neil that his intervention almost certainly saved the boy’s life, presenting him with the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society award in recognition of his actions.

Gary Watson, Serco’s Business Operations Manager at the International Fire Training Centre, said:

“Neil’s quick thinking and determination in this incredibly challenging situation literally made the difference between life and death. Not only did he save the life of this young boy, but he does amazing work training others to save lives every day in his day-job as a fire instructor, so I am really pleased to him recognised with this prestigious award.”

Neil was presented with his award by Serco Chief Executive Rupert Soames at an event marking the company’s UK winners of its Global Pulse Awards. The awards celebrate employees from among Serco’s 50,000 strong team around the world who have done extraordinary things for their colleagues, customers or communities.

The International Fire Training Centre is the leading aviation fire training centre in the world. Since 1981 it has been located at Durham Tees Valley Airport in the North East of England in what was once a historic Royal Air Force base. Today it trains around 10,000 firefighters each year from around the world, with delegates ranging from major customers such as NATO, the United Nations, France and Germany to smaller nations such as Romania and Tahiti. Last year the centre was recognised with the Queen’s Award for Export for outstanding achievements in exports and for contributing to the international reputation of the UK.