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Ambulance Chief thanks response teams

After major bus collision, Totnes

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust’s (SWASFT) Chief Executive has thanked the multi-agency response involved in the major incident at the weekend in South Devon. 

Many medical volunteers and response staff rushed to the scene to help after the ambulance service was called by one of the passengers on board the double-decker bus after a collision on A385 Totnes Road.  The incident happened just before 11am on Saturday 5 October 2019. 

A ‘major incident’ was declared and a multi-agency response assisted ambulance crews to treat and support more than 50 passengers and the driver involved in the collision. 

Thirty seven (37) patients needed further treatment and were conveyed to a number of hospitals across the region. Hospitals involved included Torbay Hospital, Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Southmead Hospital in Bristol and Newton Abbot Community Hospital.

Ken Wenman, Chief Executive of South Western Ambulance Service, said: “I would like to send our best wishes to all those involved in this incident and wish all patients a speedy recovery.”

“I would also like to thank our staff, along with all of the other emergency services who responded to this incident. This was a multi-agency response and colleagues worked tremendously hard together to assess and treat a very large number of patients. I would like to pay tribute to everyone involved for their professionalism and dedication.”

More than 60 response staff from South Western Ambulance Service attended the incident, with 34 SWASFT vehicles at the scene, including: 

13 ambulances
2 rapid response vehicles (RRVs)
3 hazardous area response team (HART) vehicles
3 operational commanders            
5 doctors
4 air ambulances
4 patient transport vehicles

Back at SWASFT’s base, the major incident room was set up, supported by clinical staff, clinical hub colleagues and senior management. At the same time, the ambulance service worked hard to maintain business as usual across the region