Heroic Essex Fire control room operator pulls man from burning car in Maldon

Fire crews were called to a blaze in Ipswich

Fire crews were called to a blaze in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

A heroic Essex Fire and Rescue control room operator traded the desk duty for a hands-on rescue mission when he pulled a man from a burning car just seconds before it was engulfed in flames.

Ryan Gibson, who rescued a man from a burning car. Image courtesy of Essex Fire and Rescue Service

Ryan Gibson, who rescued a man from a burning car. Image courtesy of Essex Fire and Rescue Service - Credit: Archant

Ryan Gibson, 34, had left his home in Maldon, Essex, when he saw a car on the road alight.

But when a woman crawled out screaming that her partner was trapped, Mr Gibson leapt into action.

Mr Gibson and two other passers-by ran to the vehicle to find the driver trapped with his leg crushed underneath the steering wheel.

The trio lifted the steering wheel and pulled the man out quickly, before the whole car went up in flames.


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Mr Gibson said: “I had just come around the corner and I saw the car there in the road with a fire under the bonnet. I hadn’t seen the crash so at first I thought it was a parked car alight and then a woman crawled out and started screaming and saying that her partner was still in the car and he couldn’t get out.

“Three of us ran up and we found the man, he was trapped with the steering wheel crushing his legs. One of us pulled the steering wheel up and the me and the other passer-by got him under the shoulders and pulled him out.

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“Within seconds of getting him free the entire car went up in flames. It was unbelievable. My training just kicked in and I didn’t think twice about what I was doing I just knew I had to act.

“The man was quite badly injured but if we hadn’t got him out when we did I hate to think what would have happened to him.”

Before joining the 999 control room, Mr Gibson had worked for 14 years as part of the Maldon Fire Station crew, and had already clocked up hours of experience in fire and rescue.

Assistant chief fire officer Dave Bill, added: “Were it not for Ryan’s quick thinking and swift action there is every possibility this man could have died in the blaze. He was the right man with the right skills in the right place at the right time. I am very proud of Ryan and would like to commend him for doing what he did at this incident.”

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