A London Midland conductor who bravely climbed under a train to administer first aid and care to a man who had jumped in front of a train has been awarded a Royal Humane Society award.
Nigel Atkins, aged 41, from Erdington, Birmingham, was presented with the award by Chief Constable Andrew Trotter, of British Transport Police (BTP), during a ceremony held at the British Medical Association (BMA) building, Tavistock Square, London, on Friday, 22 June 2012.
Nigel was commended for his brave and courageous actions during the incident, which took place around 5.30pm on Wednesday, 26 August 2009. He was the senior conductor on board the Dorridge – Stourbridge service which was pulling into Stourbridge Junction station when a man, who had previously suffered from mental health issues, jumped from the platform into the path of the train.
The man became trapped underneath a carriage which Nigel immediately climbed under to comfort and give first aid to the man who had suffered multiple, life-threatening injuries. Nigel, who is also a member of St John Ambulance, remained under the train and assisted paramedics, updating them fully on the circumstances. The victim was air lifted to SellyOakHospital in Birmingham where he underwent surgery for his injuries.
Although his condition remained critical for many days, the victim recovered from his injuries and later contacted BTP to pass on his apologies to all staff involved in the incident.
BTP Chief Constable Andrew Trotter said: “I was very pleased to be able to present Mr Atkins with this prestigious award. Courageous, life-saving actions such as his are in the finest tradition of public service and deserve more recognition than they sometimes get.
“Like police officers, rail staff serve and protect the public, often, as in this case, in very traumatic circumstances.”
After receiving his award, Nigel said: “I feel greatly honoured to be recognised for my actions on that day. I have been a first aider for 30 years, and a member of St John Ambulance for 14 years. Being able to use my skills to be the difference between a life lost and a life saved makes me feel very proud.”
Patrick Verwer, London Midland's managing director, said: "We are enormously proud of Nigel and his actions that day. Using his skills and expertise he helped save a life in what must have been extremely traumatic circumstances. He is a very worthy recipient of this award."