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Townhead Health Centre

Agnes Malcolmson, Ann Fleming, Anetta Ziolek & Danny Turner

A normal shift turned into a life threatening situation for treatment room nursing staff and a storeman at Townhead Health Centre.

When a patient in the waiting set himself on fire and then walked out into the concourse, endangering other patients.

Nurse Agnes Malcolmson and Glasgow Royal Infirmary storeman Danny Turner instinctively rushed towards what Danny described as a “great ball of fire” unaware that it was a patient.

Agnes reached the patient first and said afterwards: “My fire training kicked in.  It tells you to ‘drop and roll’ someone who is on fire and smother the flames.”

She was also concerned for the safety of other people in the area and “the babies upstairs.”

Just seconds behind Agnes was Danny, who pulled off his fleece jacket to extinguish the fire, and treatment room colleagues Ann Fleming and Anetta Ziolek who helped remove the patient’s clothes, provided emergency treatment and alerted the various emergency services and NHS management.

While seriously injured the patient survived and amazingly Agnes’s own injuries were limited to two burnt fingers.

Peter Craig, the GRI fire safety advisor and a former firefighter, attended the incident and commented that most people would run away, very rarely do people run towards such a situation and provide assistance.

He added that this was a set of circumstance he had rarely witnessed in his long career and never in a public setting.