Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tim and Peter given awards for 7/7 bravery

Tim Coulson, and Peter Zimonjic have both been honoured with awards for their bravery on 7 July when they went to the aid of seriously injured and dying passengers.

They were amongst a group of men who were not travelling on the bombed train, but another train, that was passing the other way and which was also affected by the blast. They smashed their way in to help those left alive and shocked and injured in the terrible aftermath of the bomb set off by Mohammed Siddique Khan just outside Edgware Rd station, which killed six people and injured many more.

Tim's teaching career was cut short by PTSD which he developed after he went to help the bombed train's passengers. What he did that day cost him a great deal. He, Peter, Ben, and all the other people who helped on that day deserve to be publicly, gratefully thanked.

Almost every warm-blooded creatures' reaction when caught up in danger or disaster is to freeze, or to flee, or to fight. It is a survival response, which is why it is so hard to predict how anyone will react to peril - ancient instinct takes over, time slows, time speeds up, nothing is real, everything is different. We might be in the twenty-first century, but our reactions were hard-wired hundreds of thousands of years ago.

To take a deep breath, make yourself over-ride your animal fear and to deliberately choose to go towards the danger and horror to help - when your gut is telling you to protect yourself, to move away, or to call 999 and hope someone else will run into the darkness to help the strangers on the train - is extraordinary. Extraordinarily brave, and extraordinarily human. And I am so pleased that this has been recognised.

Also, whilst we're on the subject of bravery and humanity, find out more about 7/7 survivor and peace ambassador Gill Hick's WalkTalk here.


Blogger MarkF said...

I saw Tim interviewed on BBC Breakfast and was stuck by the quiet presence of the man.

Just why the government refused to accept his wife's nomination of his name for a higher award by the government only to be turned down with the explanation, “honours are awarded to people for meritorious service over a sustained period and not specifically for saving someone’s life” still amazes me.

May 15, 2008 8:04 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

I know. It was craven.

There are many unsung heroes of that day. Including the men and women of the NHS, emergency services and Transport for London.

May 15, 2008 8:41 am  

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