Edinburgh AA patrol David Gibson risked his own life to save others earlier this year, when the driver of a van on the M9 motorway suffered a fit and lost control of his vehicle. David managed to bring the vehicle to a safe stop and assisted the driver while he called the emergency services.
This selfless action earned him the AA Patrol Service Medal, which recognises exceptional acts of personal initiative.*
David is a great ambassador for the company and we are delighted to present him with the rare and highly coveted Patrol Service Medal [pictured above]
Steve Dewey, director of AA Road Operations
On 7 March 2013, as he approached junction 1 of the M9 at Newbridge near Edinburgh, AA patrol David Gibson noticed a van in front of him slowing and moving erratically for no apparent reason.
He pulled alongside the van and saw the driver slumped at the wheel with blood coming from his mouth. He had suffered a serious fit and had bitten through his tongue. With not only the driver but other road users at risk, David's subsequent actions to bring the vehicle safely to a stop earned him a commendation at the time from Lothian and Borders Police.
In the police commendation, PC Steven McAlpine said: "AA patrol David Gibson stopped his AA truck on the hard shoulder before running after the driver's van, climbing aboard and steering it off the carriageway to a halt.
"While on the phone to the emergency services, the driver partly regained consciousness and attempted to exit his vehicle onto the motorway carriageway. Mr Gibson had to restrain the driver and try to reassure him while still speaking to the operator.
"He placed his own life in danger in order to stop the driver's van and managed to remain calm throughout the incident. In our opinion he has averted a major incident on the motorway network."
David Gibson, 33, received the AA Patrol Service Medal – which recognises exceptional acts of personal initiative by AA breakdown patrols – at a ceremony at the AA's national operational centre in Oldbury, West Midlands.
Steve Dewey, director of AA Road Operations, says: "Certainly David was in the right place at the right time, but his quick thinking and training came to the fore. He is a great ambassador for the company and we are delighted to present him with the rare and highly coveted Patrol Service Medal."
* AA Patrol Service Medal
In 1956 the AA introduced two awards to recognise outstanding service by its patrols in commemoration of its Golden Jubilee the previous year. The two awards were the Patrol Service Medal and Patrol Service Cross.
The Patrol Service Medal is awarded to members of staff who, while on duty, carry out acts demanding exceptional personal initiative, in circumstances of great distress, suffering, threat or similar serious occurrence.
The first recipient of the AA Patrol Service Medal was AA patrol Kenneth Jones in 1956.
The Patrol Service Cross is awarded to members of staff who, while on duty, carry out courageous and conspicuous acts of bravery involving imminent risk to their life or limb.
A third award known as the Citation was later introduced. It is awarded to members of staff who, while on duty, carry out acts above and beyond the normal service requirements, demanding a high level of personal initiative or demonstrating outstanding courtesy and care.
16 September 2013