Workers recognised for helping women during car fire

Droitwich Advertiser: Dave Bates, FCC Fernando Capelastegui, Operations Director for FCC, Gwen McDonnell, Cllr. Gerry O’Donnell, Chairman of Wychavon, Sarah McDonnell, Phil Merrick, Head of Community Services at Wychavon, Steve Carrol, FCC. Dave Bates, FCC Fernando Capelastegui, Operations Director for FCC, Gwen McDonnell, Cllr. Gerry O’Donnell, Chairman of Wychavon, Sarah McDonnell, Phil Merrick, Head of Community Services at Wychavon, Steve Carrol, FCC.

TWO workers have had their heroic efforts recognised after helping women from a car fire.

At a special festive reception on Friday, December 13 at the Civic Centre, Pershore, the chairman of Wychavon District Council paid tribute to the men who came to the aid of a driver and her mother after spotting an engine fire in their vehicle.

Dave Bates and Steve Carrol were working along the A38 near Webbs of Wychbold for FCC – Wychavon’s waste and refuse contractor – earlier in the year, when they spotted smoke coming from the car of Sarah McDonnell after she had come to a stop on the road.

Without hesitation, the two men sprang into action. First they made sure Miss McDonnell and her mother, Mrs Gwen McDonnell, were safely away from their car. They then proceeded to warn approaching traffic about the incident and also tackled the fire using a fire extinguisher from their own vehicle.

Sarah McDonnell, from Birmingham, said: “Dave and Steve acted so fast. I truly believe that if they hadn’t acted as they did and as quickly, then both me and my mum could have been hurt. People are very quick to moan when someone does something wrong. But Dave and Steve prevented us from being injured, and I won’t forget that in a hurry.”

Steve Carrol, from FCC, said: “I would’ve done the same for anyone in distress.”

Dave Bates added: “If any of my family and relatives were in the same position I would hope that someone would help them.”

The festive reception, hosted by chairman Gerry O’Donnell, saw the two men honoured and presented with a framed bravery award, vouchers from FCC, and St Andrews Town Hotel in Droitwich has donated two free meals.

Councillor Gerry O’Donnell said: “It’s fantastic to meet with staff who have put their own personal safety at risk to rescue other people. Our waste contractor FCC goes above and beyond the call of duty, and this is a classic, albeit more extreme example, of their dedication to providing an outstanding service.”

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