'Hero' off-duty firemen who rescued family from burning car on A38 given Queen's bravery award

A pair of off-duty firefighters who rescued a family from a burning car on the A38 in Devon have been given a Queen's Commendation for Bravery.

Ed Durante and Craig Jones have been praised for their actions on 27 June 2021, after they saved the lives of five people, who could have died had they not intervened.

Ed Durante, a paramedic and watch manager with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, was driving along the A38 near Chudleigh when he saw a car ahead lose control and collide with the barrier.

The car then became engulfed in flames.

  • Ed Durante speaking to ITV News West Country after the horror incident

He immediately ran to the burning car, which had five unconscious passengers in, and began pulling each of them out.

Craig Jones, from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service was also travelling along the A38 when he spotted the incident and joined Ed Durante's rescue efforts.

He pulled out a six-year-old child from the middle rear seat of the car and performed urgent first aid.

Both of the firefighters then moved the casualties away from the vehicle, which was fully engulfed in flames by this point, and provided first aid until the ambulance arrived.

The fire was seen engulfed in flames on the A38. Credit: BPM Media / Devon Live

Some of the casualties' injuries were life-changing as a result of the crash, but could have been fatal had the two not intervened.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden praised the actions of everyone who received an award for their brave actions.

"We all hope we'd react with courage in the face of danger", he said.

"These people have lived through that test, and responded in the most admirable way.

"Their selfless actions have saved lives and I want to express profound thanks for their willingness to put themselves in danger to protect others."

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