Security officer’s bravery and quick-thinking recognised
A Security supervisor who serves APCOA’s client, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust – for whom APCOA provides security and car parking management at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital – has received a top ACS Pacesetters award.
ACS Pacesetters membership is made up of contract security guarding companies in the top 15% benchmarking and achievement levels set by the Security Industry Authority’s Approved Contractor Scheme. Josh Welch’s 'Officer of Distinction 2021 Award' recognises his bravery and quick thinking in responding to a fire alarm activation in an occupied ward on the fifth floor of Hull Royal Infirmary’s 13-storey tower block.
Aware of the potential risk to life, he immediately alerted the Security team and rushed to the scene, finding a bin engulfed in flames immediately in front of the ward entrance door. Realising that anyone attempting to leave the ward via this door would be met by a wall of flame and hot gases, and seeing further danger from oxygen and clinical lines close by, he grabbed the appropriate fire extinguisher and dealt with the fire himself before the fire brigade arrived. He then set about investigating how the fire had begun, and identified a male patient who may have been responsible for starting it. Having used CCTV to confirm this, he detained him until the Police arrived to arrest the individual – who was later charged with ‘arson with attempt to harm’.
Kim Challis, Regional MD, APCOA UK & Ireland said: “We are all extremely proud of Josh. His swift and brave actions prevented a major incident, and likely a full hospital evacuation for our client, together with potential injury or worse. He also managed to apprehend the perpetrator, and thoroughly deserves this prestigious award.”
Chris Long, CEO of Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “I’m sure Josh will consider himself to have just been doing his job, but the consequences of these events could have been incredibly serious for the hospital, and potentially tragic for the people within it. Josh showed immense bravery and selflessness, and is truly deserving of this award.”
APCOA provides security and parking services for 18 healthcare clients, ‘with numbers growing all the time’.