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Wolverhampton Heroes Recognised

Press Release   •   Dec 13, 2013 16:22 GMT

Wolverhampton Railway Station is celebrating after its Station Manager Dave Whitehouse, members of his team, and the station itself, received awards from the West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Dave Whitehouse (Station Manager), Steve Wade (Platform CSA), Stuart Vickers (Platform CSA), Kim Weaver Davis (RPI) and Raj Parkesh (Platform CSA) have all been involved in incidents this year at Wolverhampton where they have successfully resuscitated two passengers; one of them being Norman Brotherton who suffered a heart attack whilst on a rail replacement bus.

Norman and wife Jean were on their way to Yorkshire for a week’s holiday on Saturday 30 March 2013 when they were told the train they were due to catch had been cancelled and a rail replacement bus service arranged.  Moments after the couple boarded, Norman stopped breathing. Fortunately for him, staff from the train station who were helping passengers knew exactly how to act. Dave, Stuart, Steve and Kim jumped onto the bus and gave him life-saving CPR and defibrillation until the ambulance arrived.

Norman has since recovered from his ordeal and said, “I don’t know anything at all about that day or for two days after. All I know is that I was sitting on a bus and I died. The staff at the train station are wonderful people and I owe them my life.”

The heroic acts which took place in both incidences this year were commended by West Midlands Ambulance Service at the Excellence in the Community Awards which took place on Thursday 7 November 2013.  The Railway Station itself also received an award in recognition of the efforts the business puts into training staff in first aid.

Ian Painter from the British Heart Foundation, who was at the awards, praised Wolverhampton for this success story and described Virgin Trains as an "industry leader" when it comes to defibrillators and training staff.

Dave Whitehouse said, “It’s an immensely proud moment for me, not only to be commended, but to be the Manager of a station with such courageous and skilled staff. They are all a credit to this business and their respective station.”

Over the summer of 2013, Virgin Trains made sure all Train Managers were trained to use Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) which are now fitted to all our Pendolino Trains.


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Virgin Trains has revolutionised rail travel by creating a high speed, high frequency service that has cut journey times and made rail journeys more comfortable. It has operated the West Coast passenger train franchise since 1997, serving key UK cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Glasgow.


Virgin Trains is the brand name of Virgin Rail Group (VRG), which is owned 51 percent by Virgin Group and 49 percent by Stagecoach. The Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded VRG a franchise contract, which started on 9 December 2012 and will run for up to 23 months. The DfT announced on 26 March 2013 a programme for letting future franchises, with the long-term West Coast franchise expected to start in April 2017.

Virgin Trains has been recognised in numerous awards. In October 2013 Business Traveller magazine readers voted the company the Best UK Domestic Rail Operator for the seventh year running. In 2011 the company was named Best Rail Operator in the Group Leisure Awards (which it also won in 2009 and 2010). In 2011 Virgin Trains won the British Quality Foundation's Achievement Award for Customer Satisfaction.

Customers consistently rate the company the top long-distance rail franchise operator, as measured by the National Passenger Survey (NPS) run by industry watchdog Passenger Focus. In the most recent NPS (Spring 2013) overall satisfaction was 92%, equalling our best ever score from the previous survey (Autumn 2012).


Virgin Trains first achieved Investors In People accreditation in 2007 and this was renewed in 2010; the IIP Gold award was achieved in 2011 and again in October 2013. In May 2013 Virgin Trains renewed its accreditation against the criteria of the European Foundation for Quality Management's (EFQM) Excellence Model, which it originally achieved in May 2011. The company’s Learning and Development team won a National Training Awards 2011 West Midlands award for its Coaching Culture programme.

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