Shropshire Star

Hero paramedics who survived knife attack honoured at Pride of Birmingham Awards

Two heroic West Midlands paramedics who survived a knife attack while doing their jobs have been recognised for their ongoing commitment and bravery.

Michael Hipgrave and Deena Evans

The West Midlands Ambulance Service's Deena Evans, from Willenhall, and Michael Hipgrave, from Coalbrookdale, accepted the Emergency Services Award at the Pride of Birmingham Awards 2023, on Monday evening.

In July 2020, the pair suffered a life-threatening knife attack when responding with two police officers to do a wellness check on a man in Wolverhampton.

Upon entering the property, the man lunged at Deena with an eight-inch kitchen knife in each hand, plunging one into her chest – puncturing her lung – and slashing her with the other.

Michael Hipgrave and Deena Evans

Crewmate Michael threw himself between Deena and her assailant, himself receiving a stab wound to the back, before police used a stun-gun on the attacker.

Martyn Smith was sent to prison for nine years at Wolverhampton Crown Court in 2021, after admitting two charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Bodycam footage shows the moment Martyn Smith attacked paramedics Michael Hipgrave and Deena Evans. Photo: West Midlands Police

Despite their ordeal, both Deena and Michael returned to work one year later, determined that they would not let the actions of one man stop them from trying to save lives.

According to reports from the incident, the wounds Michael received from putting himself between Deena and the attacker lined up directly with Deena’s heart, suggesting her wounds could have been fatal.

Michael Hipgrave with fellow paramedic Deena Evans

Hosting the award ceremony was actor Kym Marsh, best known for her role as Michelle Connor on Coronation Street.

She said: “This is such an amazing group of winners. Their courage, selfless dedication, inspiration and kindness are exactly what the world needs right now.

"Hearing their incredible stories can't fail to inspire you, and restore your faith in humanity."

Other categories for the Pride of Birmingham awards include Child of Courage, Outstanding Contribution, Lifetime Achievement and Special Recognition.