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Coatbridge mechanic got in gear to repair 13 pharmacy vehicles in under an hour

A heroic Coatbridge mechanic has told of how he got more than a dozen medical vans back on the road after their tyres had been slashed at the height of the first coronavirus lockdown.

Mark Chisholm, who works at McConechy’s Tyre Service in the town, was called to Edinburgh at 6.30am last April after the 13 AAH Pharmaceuticals vehicles were attacked.

Mark and his fellow mechanics were one of the few groups at the time who were considered essential and still going to work.

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The 29-year-old had himself just won his own battle with Covid and was back at work – but immediately hit the road and raced for the capital 50 miles away.

He miraculously managed to change the tyres and get all 13 vans back in the road within 40 minutes allowing them to make “crucial” deliveries of medicines to chemists.

The Kirkshaws man explained: “One of the workers had apparently been let go and slashed the vans as a revenge thing.

“I got the call and you just think it’ll be a normal call-out – one car, one van or a truck type thing.

“I was told it was actually a major firm waiting with prescriptions to go to the pharmacy.

“You normally get an hour or 90 minutes to get there but I left right away as I knew it was important that they get these back on the road.

“This was very different circumstances to normal.

“It took me about 40 minutes – once I was there I had a couple of jacks and just went mental basically.

“They did tell me it was critical they got to the pharmacies – you can’t have people waiting about to get their medication.

“It was daunting at the time but definitely something I cherish.

Coatbridge mechanic got in gear to repair 13 pharmacy vehicles in under an hour
Mark was delighted to be recognised for his heroics

“I had my own battle with Covid just before that as well. I’d caught it and passed it to family members who ended up on ventilators but thankfully survived it.

“So I could see how important the medicine was.”

It has been a dramatic year for Mark with him becoming a father to a little boy called Shae seven months ago with partner Claire.

To honour the former Coatbridge High pupil, bosses put him forward for the The American Express Frontline Hero Store Colleague Award at Retail Week Awards – where he picked up the gold award at a glitzy ceremony in London.

Mark added: “The ceremony was absolutely amazing, it was truly first class. I feel so blessed and overwhelmed. Even just to be nominated and shortlisted for the award, in my eyes, was something special and to actually win it was incredible.”

“My partner Claire and seven-month-old son Shae sent me a wee video this morning of them both saying ‘congratulations’ which put a smile on my face.”

The judges commented:“Mark’s deed is a perfect example of the incredible efforts made by so many workers across the country during lockdown and highlights how he helped keep key workers moving to help save lives under incredibly difficult circumstances.”

Hanna Jackson, Retail Week Managing Director, said: “The American Express Frontline Hero – Store Colleague Award is a really important award this year as it shines a hugely deserving spotlight on some of the incredible work done across the retail industry throughout the most challenging time for the sector.

“It is fantastic that Mark is getting the recognition he truly deserves.”

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