EMERGENCY services chiefs have paid tribute to West Midlands Ambulance Service technician Jeremy Daw who died while on duty after an object struck the windscreen of an ambulance responding to a 999 call.

Mr Daw, known as Jack, died at the scene of the incident on the A49 in Herefordshire yesterday (Saturday April 24) despite the best efforts of medical colleagues who tried to save his life.

The 66-year-old, from Hereford, had dedicated almost three decades to the ambulance service before retiring last year but just a few months ago he decided to return to the frontline to assist during the coronavirus pandemic.

Giving interviews at the ambulance service HQ at Brierley Hill, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s emergency services operations delivery director, Nathan Hudson, described him as a "dear friend and colleague" and he said: “Jeremy (Jack) was a long serving member of staff with nearly 30 years’ service who always put patient care at the heart of everything he did. He was one of life’s good guys.

“During his time with the ambulance service, he became a paramedic and worked in Hereford and Leominster, as well as flying on some of the region’s air ambulances. As well as being a paramedic, he worked as a mentor helping countless other staff to develop their skills and patient care.

“He loved his family, his colleagues and his patients. He was a loving husband, father and a fantastic member of our team and will be missed dearly.

“His death is particularly cruel as had only retired last year before returning in January this year as an Emergency Medical Technician.

“Our key focus at the minute is ensuring we do everything to support his family and also our staff.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the efforts of our staff who attended the incident yesterday and our call room staff, but also the many staff from other parts of the region who volunteered to come and work in Hereford last night and today to allow their colleagues time to come to terms with what has happened.

“We will be working closely with Jeremy (Jack)’s family and the family liaison officers from West Mercia Police, in how they wish to remember Jeremy (Jack).”

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Jeremy – known by his colleagues as Jack – represented the best of the NHS. After almost three decades’ service, he returned to the frontline from a well-earned retirement to help patients during the coronavirus pandemic and served as a mentor to younger colleagues.

“On behalf of everyone across the NHS, our heartfelt condolences go to Jeremy’s family, friends and colleagues, as we also wish his crewmate a swift recovery.”

Inspector Chris Watson, from West Mercia Police, said it had been a "tragic and difficult incident to deal with" and he added: "Our thoughts are with their family and with our colleagues at West Midlands Ambulance Service.

“We are still thoroughly investigating this incident and although at an early stage, we are satisfied that this was not a deliberate act despite some speculation on social media.

“We are continuing to support the victim’s family at this challenging time. They would like to thank everyone for the support and well wishes they have received."

He urged any witnesses to the incident or anyone who may have dashcam footage from the area to contact PC Adrian Davies at Hereford Police Station on 101, quoting reference 101 i 24April.