A van driver who helped to rescue casualties from four separate collisions has been awarded FTA’s 2018 Van Excellence Hero of the Year Award. John Barter, whose heroic actions include pulling an injured driver out of her car after her petrol tank burst during a multi-vehicle crash on the motorway, was presented with the award at a glittering ceremony today (7 February 2019), sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Mark Cartwright , Head of Vans and Light Commercial Vehicles at the Freight Transport Association (FTA), which administers the Van Excellence scheme, commented: “The Hero of the Year award celebrates the individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help their colleagues or wider community; the drivers who show unbelievable courage, leadership and kindness in the face of adversity and crisis. With more than 4.3 million van drivers on our roads, I witness their dedication, resilience and skill every day; I’m pleased to now have a platform to publicly recognise and reward their contribution to society.”
Cartwright continued: “I have the utmost respect for John Barter. He showed great leadership, calm and bravery in the face of crisis; his actions significantly aided the victims’ recoveries. Heroes come in unexpected places; van drivers should not be underestimated.”
The winner, John Barter, commented: “It was a great privilege to be able to help these individuals when they needed it most. I love van driving and the fact that my first aid training and road experience means I can help people in need is a great satisfaction to me. I would like to thank the team at Ocado for their ongoing support, and I am so honoured my colleagues nominated me for this award.”
David Sturmey, of Qi Van Systems, and Peter Williams, of James Hall Couriers, both received ‘highly commended’ accolades. The awards, also sponsored by AA, Bott, Brigade Electronics, Hertz, Lex Autolease and Quartix, were presented at the Van Excellence Honours at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Birmingham.
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Administered by FTA, the leading organisation in UK logistics, Van Excellence was created in 2010 to promote the safe operation of vans, represent the interests of the sector, and celebrate operators demonstrating excellent standards. Central to the scheme is the Van Excellence Code, a set of minimum best practice standards all van operators should aspire to achieve, covering safety, efficiency and sustainability.