25 November 2015
Alex Mountain (24), an ACF Sergeant Major Instructor (SMI) from Cardiff, was presented with the First Aid category award at the British Red Cross Humanitarian Citizen Awards 2015 at the House of Commons on 24 November.
The annual Awards scheme recognises the achievements of young people under 25 and SMI Mountain was shortlisted for the final awards from around 130 nominations.
Alex was driving to work through St Mellons in Cardiff when he came across the scene of a crash involving a Ford Fiesta and a coach full of high school children. Having learnt first aid as an army cadet Alex immediately took control of the situation. Seeing that the car driver was dead and that fuel from the car was leaking towards the crashed coach, Alex supervised the evacuation of the schoolchildren and ensured their safety, before the car caught fire.
Having ensured the passengers were safe he began giving first aid to the injured, including dealing with the coach driver’s injuries and cuts and bruises to some of the students. Alex sheltered those with injuries in his car while waiting for the emergency services and also prevented bystanders from taking photographs of the dead car driver, and the bus driver, on their mobile phones. When the emergency services arrived Alex handed over his casualties, gave accounts of their respective treatments and gave a statement to the police, before continuing his journey to work.
Six children from St Teilo’s Church in Wales High School were taken to hospital as a result of the accident, which happened during morning rush hour on December 8 last year.
“I felt quite pleased I could represent the Army Cadet Force and what we can do" said Alex, adding: "It was something that needed to be done..."
Lieutenant Colonel Alan Sharkey, Chairman of the ACF National First Aid Panel said: “Alex’s story shows that army cadets and their adult volunteers step up and act when others don’t. This is the second successive year a young ACF instructor has won the first aid award which is a magnificent testimonial to ACF training, not just in first aid but in the citizenship skills that come shining through what these young people achieve”.