A lorry driver was bleeding to death on the Elland bypass after a horror accident until firefighters’ rapid actions saved his life.
Malcolm Mort, 68, had his right arm practically severed when his vehicle overturned in August but a tourniquet was quickly fixed to stem the blood.
Fate also played a major part in the Stalybridge man’s survival as an Elland crew was passing and arrived before being mobilised.
An off-duty firefighter was also travelling in the other direction with first aid equipment in his vehicle.
And, Dr Andy Lockey, a consultant in emergency medicine, was also travelling on the bypass.
Firefighters Ian Harrop and Gavin Shaw, of Elland station and Julian King, based at Mirfield, received certificates of appreciation from Halifax divisional commander Nigel Hotson.
The citation includes: “There is no doubt your quick and decisive action helped in preventing a tragic loss of life.”
The rescuers efforts including putting hands inside an open wound to apply direct pressure to stem arterial bleeding until being relieved by paramedics and Dr Lockey.
Firefighter Harrop said the crew was returning to base and noticed a build-up of traffic.
“We just came across the accident and met Julian around the same time,” he said.
“The casualty was in serious difficulty in his cab and blood was everywhere.”
It is believed Mr Mort’s arm ended up hanging out of his window as the lorry flipped over and was scraped along the central carriageway.
The Yorkshire Air Ambulance was also involved and the rescue was featured on TV’s Helicopter Heroes.
Mr Mort is currently in hospital having further operations on his arm. He remembers little of the accident but said he intended to meet his rescuers to thank them personally.
Dr Lockey said there was no doubt Mr Mort had life-threatening injuries.
“If nothing had been done he would have lost all his circulating blood onto the Elland Bypass and would have died in his lorry cab that day.
“This is where fate stepped in and ensured the people who were first on scene were equipped with the skills to prevent this from happening.”
Dr Lockey said he looked into the cab and saw the tourniquet on his arm and the textbooks usually frown upon the use of tourniquets.
“But, there is no doubt that there was no alternative in this situation and that it made the difference between life and death.
“The location of the wound was in such a position that direct pressure was never going to stop the bleeding.
“The quick-thinking that led to the application of that tourniquet ensured that this gentleman surived and I wholeheartedly congratulate the firefighters who did this.
“They should be rightly proud of their actions that day.”