Shipley firefighter pays tribute to work colleagues who helped save him (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Shipley firefighter pays tribute to work colleagues who helped save him
A firefighter has thanked work colleagues who saved his life after he broke his neck in a road accident.
Mike Titmarsh, a watch commander at Shipley fire station, snapped two vertebrae when he cycled into the back of a coach.
He was on his way to work when he ploughed into a stationary National Express coach that had suddenly stopped at a roundabout on Wakefield Road in Bradford.
The 44-year-old said he would be dead, or paralysed for the rest of his life, if it wasn’t for firefighters from White Watch at Bradford station.
Mr Titmarsh said they stabilised him on a spinal board as he lay on the road. He had asked for the fire service to be called because there was no indication as to when an ambulance would turn up with the appropriate equipment.
Pointing to three things that saved his life – his helmet, his own actions, and the Bradford firemen – Mr Titmarsh said: “I want to thank Bradford White Watch for sorting me out and making me secure at the roadside.
“Their intervention definitely stopped me from spending the rest of my life in a wheelchair.”
On the aftermath of the accident, which happened at 5.15pm on January 5, Mr Titmarsh, who could be off work for eight months, said: “I was just heartbroken. My arms and legs were not moving. With all my training, you tend to recognise spinal injuries. I thought I was paralysed.”
Mr Titmarsh also criticised the ambulance service, who sent a rapid response vehicle initialy. “I waited on the road for one and a quarter hours for an ambulance to turn up and transport me,” he said. “The crew that did transport me were brilliant, but it is the politics of having not enough crews to provide a proper service.
“Being in the emergency services, I understand the importance of getting to someone within that golden hour.”
Watch commander Mark Rogerson, of Bradford fire station, said: “We were just doing our job, that is what we are trained to do. I think it is a lot more to do with the way Mike reacted to it.
“The rapid response vehicle that arrived doesn’t carry all the types of equipment. Mike suggested every fire engine has a board and said there was a fire station nearby”
A spokesman for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: “We would like to apologise to Mr Titmarsh for the distress caused following the 999 call made on January 5 2013.”