Paramedics tell how they treated failed Exeter suicide bomber
PUBLISHED: 13:04 17 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:49 10 June 2010
PARADEMICS who treated Nicky Reilly moments after his failed suicide attack deny being heroes – and say they were just treating a patient.
PARADEMICS who treated Nicky Reilly moments after his failed suicide attack deny being heroes - and say they were just treating a patient.
Emergency care assistant Matt Baker and paramedic colleague Matt Richardson answered what they believed to be a routine 999 call and came face to face with Exeter bomber Nicky Reilly.
The pair had been sent to the Giraffe Restaurant in the centre of Exeter on May 22 after South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust received an emergency call reporting a male who had fallen and "cut his face".
Matt Baker said: "We're no heroes. We were just doing our jobs, thinking on our feet and making the best decisions we could in the best interests of our patient and the public."
"Some people have told us we acted bravely. Others have said we were stupid, but at the end of the day he was our patient and that was all that seemed to matter at the time.
"It wasn't until after it had all finished that we sat down and thought about what we had just gone through."
During the six minute journey across the city the pair were more concerned with negotiating traffic and getting as close to the scene as possible, than what would greet them when they arrived.
When they arrived they found a cordoned-off city, scores of police and hundreds of concerned members of the public.
As the emergency services went about assessing the situation the paramedic pair focussed on Reilly.
"We were almost on scene when we got a call telling us to stand off and wait for police but there was a police car following us in so we carried on until we were outside the restaurant," continued Matt Richardson.
"We were 10 metres away from the door when we were told there had been an explosion.
"When we got on to the scene we saw a patient, not a bomber.
"He had been led outside the restaurant and was sitting on one of the chairs so we asked him what he had used.
"He told us the truth and we had to wait to see how best to handle that chemical before we could treat his injuries.
"He was obviously agitated but we were just frustrated that we couldn't treat him as we didn't know what chemicals had been used in the device.
"We had a good rapport with him and as our patient we did our best to treat him.
"We all undergo training in dealing with hazardous substances but nothing could really have prepared us for this situation.
"We did what we thought was best for everyone and I don't think we could have done anything differently to help in the situation."
Reilly, who was tried as Mohamad Saeed Alim, this week pleaded guilty to the counts of attempted murder and preparation for acts of terrorism via video link at the Old Bailey.
He has been remanded in custody at high-security Belmarsh jail and will appear in person before the Old Bailey for sentencing on November 21.