Two St Albans heroes, who risked their lives to carry three young wheelchair users from a blazing ambulance minibus seconds before it was engulfed in flames, have received a top national life saving award.

Driver Alan Jones, 72, of Windmill Avenue, and assistant Christine Flavin, 68, of Watling View, received Royal Humane Society testimonials on vellum during an awards ceremony to recognise bravery and long service at Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City on Thursday, June 5.

The awards follow a dramatic rescue on the A602 Park Way, Hitchin, in September last year. Umar Hussain, 22 from Luton and Clayton Pearce, 36 from Hatfield also received awards.

Mr Jones had been driving a private ambulance mini-bus, carrying people in wheelchairs, with assistant Christine Flavin when it caught fire.

Mr Pearce and Mr Hussain stopped to assist and together they all started to evacuate the passengers. 

Mr Jones and Ms Flavin first had to release the ratchet straps and manoeuvre the wheelchairs one at a time to the rear to use the tail lift. 

Mr Hussain also went inside the rear of the minibus to help them. Moments after everyone got clear the minibus became a mass of flames.