First on the scene
Warrington’s Stephen Nugent was unaware he’d be using his first-aid training to help a colleague when he spotted a fatal collision on the motorway, writes Paul Smith.
The OPG was on his way to work when he came across the immediate aftermath of a head-on collision on the M62.
Less than a year since he started his first-aid training with Royal Mail, Stephen found himself using his new skills in a live situation. His calm manner saw him help what turned out to be a fellow Royal Mail employee to safety.
‘It was around 5.30am and I was on my way to Warrington, where I work at the mail centre,’ said Stephen. 'The conditions were really dark with heavy rain and surface water on the motorway.
‘I saw there had been a head-on collision and I could see debris scattered across the road. There was a man I could see in Royal Mail uniform getting out of his car with blood down his face and I panicked for him.
‘He was fully concussed and didn’t know where he was. Someone else got out of their car and I told them to direct the traffic, while I got him back to safety and his car.’
Using his Royal Mail fleece, Stephen attended to a gash on the colleague’s head to stem the blood, called an ambulance and waited for them to arrive. The other victim of the crash had tragically suffered a heart attack, which caused the collision, and was pronounced to have died before the impact.
‘I just kept him talking and stayed until the ambulance took over,’ adds Stephen. ‘I kept reassuring him they were on their way.’
The colleague works at our Warrington Distribution Centre, although Stephen has had no contact with him since the incident. For him, regardless of seeing a fellow Royal Mail uniform, instinct just kicked in.
‘I think it was adrenaline,’ he said. ‘It’s all about staying calm and remembering my training.’
Stephen, who has spent half of his life – 16 years – working for the business is now urging anyone with an interest to speak to their CWU rep or line manager and take part in a Royal Mail first-aid course.
‘It’s always something I have wanted to do,’ he said. ‘I’ve a nine-year-old daughter now and we were short of first-aiders at work, so I put my name forward.
‘The training was a big eye-opener and really interesting. It’s very hands-on and you go through a lot of circumstances. Emma (Newton) who did the training was great.
‘I think everyone will come across something like that at one time, and it gives you a better perspective.’
Denise Gaskell, work area manager at Warrington Mail Centre, said: ‘We are all proud of Stephen’s bravery.’