Firefighter Iain saw friend at fatal crash
Tanya Ellis, 35, has been in the Scottish Ambulance Service for over three years working as a technician and is now also completing her degree to become a paramedic at Glasgow Caledonian University. Working in the Stranraer area where country roads are common, Tanya has attended numerous country road accidents throughout her career and every fatality is etched vividly into her memory.
She said: “It’s very difficult to speak to family members who haven’t been and seen what you’ve been and seen. It’s very emotional what you have seen.” Iain McGarry has been a trained firefighter for 18 years in Cupar, Fife.
Over the first few years of his career, Iain (36) attended 10 fatal country road accidents.
On arrival to one particular incident, Iain discovered that the individual fatally injured was a good friend of his from school.
All fatalities Iain has witnessed have had a lasting impact on him, hence his decision to support this year’s Country Roads campaign.
He said:“If I close my eyes, I could go back to every single incident I have had fatalities in.
“People think it’s not going to happen to them. Who says it’s not going to happen to you?
“The most emotional one was a small impact due to speed and they lost control of the car and unfortunately he was pronounced dead on the scene. So when we turned up there was nothing really much for us to do apart from making the car safe.
“Unfortunately, when it came to the time to take off the cover from his body, that’s when I saw him and I recognised him, it was one of my school friends.
“I asked my gaffer at the time if I could just have a few moments alone.
“I zipped up his bodybag and passed him on to the undertaker, it was important to me to do that.
“I wish I was the firefighter who could retire in 30 odd years and say I’ve never been to a fatality or I’ve never been to a bad car crash.
“That would be great.”
Horror find Iain McGarry