Working as a London firefighter Paul was used to attending serious and life threatening incidents. However, in 2007 he found himself in need of help from his emergency services colleagues when he was hit by a truck whilst cycling to work.
Leaving his home in South London there was nothing to suggest to Paul that this would be anything other than the regular journey to the fire station to start his shift. As he cycled through West Norwood, a truck driving in front of him turned suddenly, ploughing straight into Paul who was left fighting for his life on the street.
Paul’s jaw was shattered, his airway was compromised, he had broken vertebrae in his back and had sustained severe injuries to his elbow and arms. Arriving on scene the London’s Air Ambulance team knew that his condition was serious. The doctor and paramedic team worked to stabilise Paul, anaesthetising and intubating him at the scene to help his breathing.
The injuries were so severe that part of Paul’s jaw was even found at the scene of the crash. Paul was at the roadside for an hour undergoing treatment before he was able to be transferred to hospital.
Paul had to take eight months off work, but remarkably was then well enough to return to his job as a firefighter. Paul needed a lot of physiotherapy and still has issues with his jaw, but ten years on from his accident, he is still a proud member of the London Fire Brigade, even working alongside the same paramedic who treated him at the roadside.
Last month Paul Brown joined thousands of other cyclists to take part in Ride London, raising money for London’s Air Ambulance “as a way of saying thank you to the charity and celebrating that I am still able to cycle,” he says.
“I thought it was fitting to raise money for London’s Air Ambulance in a cycle ride, as I was cycling when the team attended to me. I know I wouldn’t have survived without the fantastic medics and their expert care.”