Wastewater engineers praised for helping badly injured man

Pictured, from the left: Ryon Burton, Dan Ray, and John Ruddell, who gave emergency first aid to a man who had been seriously assaulted.

Two wastewater engineers working for Lanes Group plc have been praised for the way they gave first aid to a main who had suffered a serious assault.

Ryon Burton and John Ruddell had been called to a flooding incident caused by a blocked surface water drain when they came across the man lying in undergrowth in Great Barr, Birmingham.

The two operatives are part of the Lanes team that supports Amey in providing wastewater network maintenance services for Severn Trent Water, and had been with Amey Site Supervisor Dan Ray.

They immediately started administering emergency first. The man’s face was gashed and covered in blood. His left eye was closed, his right eye was damaged, and he was complaining of pains in his chest and arms.

All three operatives used their workplace first aid training. In addition, Dan had been a St John Ambulance first aid volunteer for seven years, and Ryon is a former soldier who has delivered battlefield first aid while serving with the Staffordshire Regiment in Iraq.

Ryon, 33, said: “The man was in a bad way. We found him at 10am in the morning, and he had been attacked 18 hours before. He was still showing signs of concussion and didn’t know where he was. If we hadn’t found him when we did, his condition could have got even worse.”

John, 35, said: “We called for an ambulance straight away. Dan used his first aid experience to check for vital signs and liaise with ambulance control, while we gave the man water and food, including chocolate biscuits and a sandwich. He said he hadn’t eaten for 24 hours, and he was severely dehydrated.

“We needed to keep him calm while we waited for the ambulance to arrive, which took about 90 minutes. We were talking to him to keep him alert because he wanted to go to sleep. We did what any caring people would want to do, which is to help a person in distress and at risk.”

Dan was impressed with his work colleagues’ response to the emergency. He said: “Ryon and John were fantastic. They went above and beyond to make sure this guy was comfortable as possible. The ambulance service couldn’t praise the help enough.

“I suspect the man had a broken jaw, and possibly a fractured cheek bone and eye socket. Our priority was to make sure his condition was stable. If we hadn’t been there he might not have woken up or could have stumbled into a nearby river and drowned.”

Ryon could draw on his experience in the Army as well as the first aid training he receives as a qualified drainage engineer. He said: “I have to say it’s not the worst injuries I’ve seen or helped deal with. But in all cases, you have to stay calm, and do what’s right at the time. We’re all very glad we could help the gent, and hope he makes a full recovery.”

Lanes Group Contract Manager Glyn Bickerstaffe said: “John and Ryon showed true professionalism and humanity in helping this injured man and should be proud of what they did for him. They set an example and a standard that we all aim to follow at Lanes.”










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