Norfolk fire chief praises strangers who saved him after crash

Phil Berry, head of the Norfolk Fire Service Urban Search and Rescue, who was involved in a crash an

Phil Berry, head of the Norfolk Fire Service Urban Search and Rescue, who was involved in a crash and has praised the emergency services and passers by. - Credit: Nick Butcher

As one of the region's leading firefighters, Phil Berry has been called out to help at countless emergencies.

But he found the roles reversed after a major car accident left him with a broken back.

Now on the road to recovery, Mr Berry has praised the strangers who stopped to help until the emergency services arrived at the crash on the A146 at Framingham Pigot.

'I was aware three gentlemen stopped and stayed with me until the emergency services arrived,' he said.

'They offered me support and that was fantastic. I don't know who they are, but I would like to thank them,' he added.

Mr Berry, who lives in Thwaite St Mary near Bungay, said one of the men was a first aider who was at nearby Highway Garden and Leisure and came over to help.

'Members of the public reacted instinctively to help and that's really good community spirit,' he said.

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'People were making sure the traffic was flowing past, there were a lot of people contributing at the scene.'

Mr Berry, who is based in Dereham with the Norfolk's Urban Search and Rescue Team, said people's reactions after the accident – on October 21 – were particularly extraordinary as motorists who saw the crash had neither the training nor the time to prepare that the emergency services get.

'When you're mobilised to an incident you have some start-up time, where you're preparing yourself mentally for what you're likely to encounter.

'What we had was people that were driving along and suddenly come across an incident and stop in order to help and there's no time for them to absorb the information. It's a dangerous environment to be in while you're trying to help.

'My hat goes off to the people that just stop. It's a fantastic thing to do.'

Were you one of those who helped Mr Berry? Email polly.grice@archant.co.uk.