Three officers from RAF Fylingdales, near Whitby, to be recognised with excellence awards

Three officers based at RAF Fylingdales who managed a complex road traffic collision and provided life-saving first aid to the seriously injured drivers have been recognised with Defence Police Federation Excellence Awards.
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The trio – Temp Sgt Dale Darby, PC Steven Bambra and an officer who asked not to be named – attended an incident which saw the road closed for seven hours, and fears that at least one of the passengers was dead.

On the morning of October 26, 2022, Temp Sgt Darby was parked at the gate of the RAF base when he saw a vehicle flying through the air and then going off onto the moors.

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"Then when I looked further up, just before a blind brow of a hill, you could see that there were cars strewn about,” he said.

Temp Sgt Dale Darby and PC Steve Bambra.Temp Sgt Dale Darby and PC Steve Bambra.
Temp Sgt Dale Darby and PC Steve Bambra.

“When I arrived, I could see one car had been completely destroyed.

"There was a car off on the left hand side, that was up into the moors, and then further up there was another car that was the one that I’d seen flip through the air – that was up onto the moors as well.”

Two cars had collided head on, trapping the drivers in their vehicles.

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One young lad was bleeding profusely from the head and saying that his back and chest hurt while a young woman was seriously injured, in another car, which had “crumpled around her.”

A fire engine from RAF Fylingdales reached the scene, along with Temp Sgt Darby’s colleagues, including PC Bambra.

Temp Sgt Darby directed the firefighters to look after the woman while PC Bambra carried out first aid on the man.

PC Bambra said: “I could see it was a pretty bad laceration on his head, and I knew it wasn’t going to stop bleeding unless heavy padding was put on it.

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“His body was pretty motionless, although his eyes were open and he was able to communicate.

"He had asthma too, so I needed to make sure he was breathing properly.”

A paramedic who happened to be driving past was able to attend to the woman.

Temp Sgt Darby called an air ambulance which arrived 30 minutes later.

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Both injured drivers were cut free by the fire service, and the woman received emergency blood transfusions on the side of the road.

The drivers were transported to the nearest major trauma centre, and the third driver was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

The man had head injuries and back fractures, and the woman had multiple broken bones including her pelvis, but both made full recoveries.

Temp Sgt Darby said: “As I drove up to the scene I really thought at least one of them was going to be fatal, because of the state of the cars.

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"I was lucky that I knew what I needed, where I needed it, how to protect the scene and what was required from the accident investigators.”

He continued: “We were over the moon to be recognised for this award.”

Eamon Keating, Chair of the Defence Police Federation, said: “We are so proud of this terrific trio and their work that day.

"They are life savers and deserving of their awards.”

The three are due to be presented with their awards at a ceremony in Southampton on November 16.

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