A TADLEY firefighter has been praised after rescuing an ambulance with a woman in labour.

Firefighter Dan Pearce was off-duty on February 1, at the height of the snowfall in the area, when he went out in his 4WD Land Rover Discovery car to assist a friend in Hannington.

When he reached the A339 at Hannington, his friend informed him that there was an ambulance stuck at the bottom of the hill.

He towed the ambulance to the top of the hill, which was called to collect a woman from Thatcham in the early stages of labour. Her family had tried driving to Basingstoke on the A339 but had got stuck.

Another driver from Alton towed their car to the ambulance and followed the ambulance back toward Basingstoke.

During this time, he was helping other drivers that were stuck in their cars as the A339 became completely blocked with vehicles on both sides.

The ambulance arrived back at where he was, and he towed it toward Newbury and they cut through the backroads of Baughurst, Ramsdell, Monk Sherborne and Sherborne St John, with the man from Alton on hand behind just in case.

Dan said: "On the way, we came across several other stuck motorists that were blocking the narrow back roads, so myself, the paramedics and the man from Alton along with other members of the public helped move the cars so we could proceed."

The 11-mile route took them about two hours.

They arrived at the hospital, and the woman was taken inside for further treatment.

Watch manager at Tadley Fire Station, Sally Gould, said: "Ff Pearce's off-duty actions were commendable.

"He displays to others the principles that we hold high at Tadley Fire Station and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

"Always willing to help and support others who are in need. I am very proud of his actions, that day.

"FF Pearce has not really wanted the publicity as he believes that, it was just the right thing to do. I believe he should take the praise.

"I am proud of all the actions that the emergency crews did in the adverse conditions. Also, the general public pulled together and community spirit shone through."