An ambulance technician who died after an object pierced his vehicle’s windscreen in a “tragic accident” had returned to the frontline to help with the fight against Covid after retiring in 2020, it has emerged.
Jeremy Daw, known to friends as Jack, died on Saturday morning when his ambulance was struck by an object as he responded to a 999 call in Herefordshire, West Midlands ambulance service (WMAS) said.
The 66-year-old, who was in the front passenger seat at the time, had returned to the service in January, having retired as a paramedic last November, and was eight shifts away from retiring again.
Paying tribute to his colleague in a video online, the WMAS emergency operations delivery director, Nathan Hudson, said the incident was an accident and no one was being sought in connection with it.
“Jeremy Daw, Jack, was a loving husband, father, and for us within the ambulance service he was not just a colleague, he was a dear friend as well,” Hudson said. “Jeremy was a paramedic. He extended his retirement to ensure he could come back and fight the Covid response the NHS has put forward.”
He added: “Nobody else was involved in the incident overall; it was an accident at this present moment in time.”
Daw died at the scene. His paramedic colleague who was driving the vehicle was also injured but has since been discharged from hospital.
Hudson described Daw, from Hereford, who had 29 years’ experience with the ambulance service, as a “remarkable character”.
“He was one of life’s good guys and he will be sorely missed in and around Hereford,” he said. “Everybody knew him and he was just a genuinely nice person. If you speak to the staff at Hereford, what they remember is that he used to go out and clean the vehicles every morning, he would wipe the windscreens down.
“He used to do that as a matter of course. He took great pride in his work.”
Hudson said Daw was eight shifts away from retiring full time, having returned “to support the trust during the pandemic” at the start of 2021.
West Mercia police said the ambulance was travelling towards Leominster at the time of the incident.
The Midlands air ambulance, two emergency ambulance crews and paramedic officers attended the scene. Police have asked anyone who may have seen the incident or have dashcam footage to contact them on 101 quoting incident 00101i of 24 April.