AN OFF-DUTY firefighter from Coggeshall who gave first aid to an unresponsive man at the scene of a collision has received a commendation from Essex’s Chief Fire Officer.

Sam Hogwood, who is an on-call firefighter at Coggeshall Fire Station, put his first aid training into practice when he helped a man at a road traffic collision on the A120 earlier on July 10, 2023.

Sam, who was off-duty, was the first on the scene, identifying himself as an on-call fire fighter.

Sam started giving first aid immediately to the critically injured man whose car was in a collision with a lorry, near to Popular Nursery, in Marks Tey.

The man was struggling to breathe on his own, had a serious head injury, and was unresponsive, meaning Sam worked to clear and maintain his airway until he could be rescued from the car.

Echo: Hero - Coggeshall firefighter Sam HogwoodHero - Coggeshall firefighter Sam Hogwood (Image: ECFRS)

Essex Police officers then attended the scene at about midday, closing off the roads, and the East of England Ambulance Service also sent a Hazardous Area Response Team, two ambulances and an ambulance officer response vehicle.

Firefighters were later called into action by the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, supporting paramedics while they assisted casualties.

Due to the crash, the driver of the car sustained potentially life-changing injuries and the HGV driver sustained minor injuries, with both being taken to hospital for further treatment.

Sam, who had only joined the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service seven months before his brave act, said at the time: “I felt I did what anyone else in the Service would have done in my position.

“The training I received from the fire service has given me the confidence I needed to help in this situation.”

Sam Hogwood received a commendation from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Officer Rick Hylton this week.

Sam’s actions at the scene were praised for “undoubtedly” saving the man’s life.

If you live or work within five minutes of an on-call fire station, you could be paid to protect your community like Sam.

Find out more about the role at