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Culdrose medic helps family after A30 car smash

22 July 2021
A Royal Navy sailor covering a survival training exercise on Bodmin Moor did not hesitate to act when she heard of a serious car crash involving a family.

Medical Assistant Tayla Davin jumped into her duty vehicle with her medical kit and immediately headed for the crash, which closed the A30 dual carriageway in Cornwall just west of Jamaica Inn earlier this month.

Two cars had collided and one had left the road – the emergency services took over an hour and half to free one of the drivers.

The 24-year-old arrived just after the first ambulance and helped the paramedic from South Western Ambulance Service deal with multiple casualties in the road.

She said: “I arrived not knowing what to expect. There was a family who had got out of the car. They were just on the ground but the driver was still trapped.

“I spoke to the paramedic who directed me to triage the family. I was just supporting them and giving them pain relief. They were complaining of back pain and there was fear they may have had spinal injuries.

“I helped package them up for transit to hospital, getting them prepared and making sure they had the spinal collars and pelvic bindings.”

As part of the medical team at RNAS Culdrose, MA Davin is trained in trauma and emergency care, and provides cover in case of emergencies at the airfield.

Earlier this year she was part of the military who assisted the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic, working in the intensive care unit at Royal Bristol Infirmary.

I’ve had casualties before, but it’s always been one at a time – this was five or six at once

Medical Assistant Tayla Davin

“This was the first road traffic collision I’d been to,” she added. “We do get training for these kinds of emergencies but we don’t get much experience. I was feeling nervous because I hadn’t experienced that situation. I’ve had casualties before, but it’s always been one at a time – this was five or six at once.

“I know all the paramedics from the ambulance service and the doctors from the helicopter were very appreciative. While this was a one-off experience for me, it made me appreciate that they go through this day to day.”

Firefighters from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service freed the driver and the whole family was airlifted to Derriford Hospital by Cornwall Air Ambulance. MA Davin went back on duty.

Chief Petty Officer Leigh Goodgame, the practice manager at RNAS Culdrose’s Medical Centre, said: “MA Davin did not hesitate when she stepped forward to provide medical assistance to a family involved in a crash on the A30 in Cornwall, despite already being on duty to provide medical cover for a training exercise.

“This was the first road traffic collision this junior medical assistant has ever attended. She assisted the paramedic crews for more than two hours and dealt with multiple casualties. I know they were grateful for her assistance.

“MA Davin has already had a busy year. She contributed in helping the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by working within the intensive care team at Bristol Royal Infirmary.

“Her professionalism, positive attitude in caring for others and her unassuming nature should be applauded and be an inspiration to others.”

MA Davin joined the Royal Navy three and a half years ago. As well as working at RNAS Culdrose, she has served on the carrier HMS Prince of Wales.

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