Top award for Bury St Edmunds train driver who tried to save life of passenger

Steve McLaren, managing director of Fenix Rail Systems, and Jason Brooks, train driver for Greater A

Steve McLaren, managing director of Fenix Rail Systems, and Jason Brooks, train driver for Greater Anglia. Picture: RAIL MEDIA - Credit: Archant

Train driver Jason Brooks, described as an “ultimate professional” after he tried to save the life of a passenger, has won a top award.

For the Bury St Edmunds man has been named Train Driver of the Year at the RailStaff Awards - the country’s national awards ceremony for those who work on the railway.

Colleagues described Jason as an “ultimate professional” for reacting to an emergency medical situation and remaining calm, collected and a supportive force for fellow staff when the incident ended in tragedy.

In February, after pulling the Liverpool Street to King’s Lynn service into Ely station, Jason was forced to leap into action to perform CPR on a passenger who had collapsed.

After asking for the carriages to be clear of travellers he continued to perform CPR and mouth-to-mouth, and also used a defibrillator.

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An ambulance was called but, unfortunately, by the time it arrived, the passenger had passed away. Many of the platform staff on duty that night were relatively inexperienced in the role but Jason remained calm throughout and took complete control of the situation.

He said: “At the end of the day it was a team effort. I might have been the person pressing down on the chest but there were other people there doing equally as important job, whether it be clearing the carriage or just making phone calls. The outcome wasn’t what we all wanted and that’s what I find difficult.”

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The Train Driver of the Year Award was sponsored by Fenix Rail Systems, which provides a range of services for signalling projects.

Steve McLaren, its managing director, said: “All of the nominees had incredible reasons to be awarded this prize.

“I think in a lot of cases, maybe not in rail, but in the high street, a lot of people avoid doing what Jason did. He’ll probably say it was the natural thing to do but a lot of people don’t. I think it’s a credit that Jason is that kind of person.

“It’s difficult circumstances for Jason but this is recognition, not only for him, but for lots of other people who do the same job and colleagues as well.”

The RailStaff Awards, now in its 12th year, was held at Birmingham’s NEC to celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams who work in the rail sector.

Tom O’Connor, managing director of event organiser Rail Media, said: “The RailStaff Awards is not only our biggest night of the year, it’s also our favourite - a spectacle with no shortage of inspiring characters. We must thank our sponsors for making the night possible and the hundreds of guests who attended for such a memorable evening.”

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