West Midlands Ambulance Service Long Service & Excellence Awards

Monday 18th March 2013 – 2pm – Chris Kowalik.

Staff of West Midlands Ambulance Service, police, fire service personnel and members of the public have been honoured for their lifesaving help at a ceremony in Worcestershire.

Chief Officer Commendations were awarded at the Long Service and Excellence Awards at The Chateau Impney Hotel in Droitwich on Thursday 14th March during which members of ambulance service staff received awards for long service and good conduct and retirement certificates.

Chief Executive Anthony Marsh said: “A really big thank you to all of our staff, volunteers and other colleagues who have worked with the ambulance service on a very regular basis to do the best we can for the public and patients across the entire West Midlands.”

Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Holcroft, the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, who, on behalf of the Queen, presented the Long Service and Good Conduct medals for twenty years’ service, said: “I would like to thank all of you in the ambulance service no matter what your role is for carrying out your duties on a daily basis as part of a team that is both dedicated professional and, in many cases, extremely patient. May I include in the thank-you the husbands, wives, partners and families who all share in the shift patterns, the stresses and strains, the highs and lows of life in the service and who together are so important in making the service the undoubted success that it enjoys.”

Kevin Anderson, Head of Marketing of G4S Technology Ltd. (sponsoring the event), said: “I am proud that we are associated with the fantastic work that West Midlands Ambulance Service do on a daily basis. This really has been a wonderful afternoon and I am honoured  to have presented these awards to such incredible people.”

Sir Graham Meldrum, Chairman of West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “Today we will hear and we have heard the justification of the pride that we should all take in West Midlands Ambulance Service and all the people that serve it and have served it so well in so many different ways over so many years. I am certainly justifiably proud to be Chairman of such an excellent organisation.”



Outstanding Achievement Award – Midlands Air Ambulance Paramedic Ian Roberts, based at Strensham.

Ian started his career in Worcester in April 1983.  He soon started to progress his career, eventually becoming a Divisional Officer at the station. His stay at Worcester ambulance station was not without incident as he was one of the first on scene at the M42 multi-vehicle road accident which involved over 100 vehicles.  Opting for air rather than land, Ian became a member of the Midlands Air Ambulance air crew based at Strensham in 2003. He became a full time flight crew member in 2007.  From that day to this, he has inspired many ambulance staff, including those now taking their first steps as a flight paramedic. For his professionalism and dedication to duty, the work of Ian Roberts was recognised with an Outstanding Achievement Award.


Among the Chief Officer Commendations were the following: (citations included):

Paramedic Suzanne Bromley

Emergency Care Assistant Patrick Finnegan

based Coventry:

In April last year, three ambulance staff based in Coventry responded to a 999 call describing a woman in cardiac arrest. The patient, Joanna Henderson, not only survived her ordeal, but visited Coventry ambulance station after her release from hospital to say ‘thank you’ to the crew involved. Sadly the crew were not on duty that day. . . However, we’ve finally managed to track everyone down …


Molly O’Mahony

member of the public from Quinton, Birmingham

Molly called 999 call to report her young brother suffering a convulsion. When ambulance crews arrived, it became clear that the patient, Jack and his sister Molly, were playing in the back garden of their home when Jack fell on the concrete floor and suffer a head injury. Showing true presence of mind, Molly called her mum and then dialled 999. Molly continued to care for her brother by putting him in the recovery position and did everything she was asked by the ambulance call taker – put the dog away, collect Jack’s medication – and flagged down the arriving ambulance. According to ambulance staff, Molly displayed an incredible mature attitude towards her brother’s situation.


Jasveer Poonian and Jaskaran Mavi

members of the public from Birmingham.

In August, Rajan Chaudhry a medical student at the University of Birmingham was enjoying a night out when he suddenly collapsed on the dance floor.  His friends Jasveer Poonian and Jaskaran Mavi  promptly recognised that he was in cardiac arrest and quickly started resuscitation. Paramedics arriving on scene and continued advanced life support before Rajan was taken to hospital. Rajan was discharged from hospital.  The intervention of Jaskaran Mavi and Jasveer Poonian saved the life of Rajan who was at the awards ceremony to assist in the presentation of the commendations to his two friends. 


Philipa Stokes

member of the public from Hereford.

Philipa has been recognised by ambulance staff for her actions in going to the assistance of a man who collapsed in cardiac arrest in February last year. Terrified and in shock at witnessing the sudden collapse, Philipa went to aid the patient with CPR before the crew arrived.  It was her early intervention that almost certainly saved the life of the patient.


Liz Rowbotham

member of the public from Wombourne.

Liz, a nurse, answered her door to a woman with a five-week old baby in arms who had stopped breathing. Liz commenced CPR until ambulance staff arrived. The baby was later rushed to hospital. The baby’s recovery was the result of quick thinking and prompt life-saving skills performed by Liz on that day.


Paul Sheldon

member of the public from Solihull.

In situations where a person collapses suddenly it is vital that immediate lifesaving treatment is given before ambulance crews arrive. Paul Sheldon went to the aid of a person who had collapsed in cardiac arrest. As a bystander, he recognised something had to be done and he started to deliver CPR to the patient before medical assistance arrived. His early actions eventually led to the patient surviving and leaving hospital.  Paul was awarded a Chief Officer Commendation on the recommendation of ambulance staff at the scene.


Paramedic Danielle Prosser

based in Birmingham.

Danielle was sent to the scene of an incident in Kings Heath, Birmingham.  Arriving first on scene, the paramedic was surprised to see a house well alight and no other emergency service on scene. The paramedic could see a woman still inside the property and without hesitation she took the decision to enter the property and proceeded to drag the patient to safety. The patient suffered serious burns in the incident and was taken to Hospital. Danielle was commended for her outstanding bravery and selfless actions at the scene of a significant house fire.


Team Leader Scott Hawkins,

Advanced Paramedic Michael Donnelly,

Advanced Paramedic Claire Bowden,

Advanced Paramedic Andrew Gelsthorpe,

Advanced Paramedic David Dawson.

all members of the Hazardous Area Response Team based in the Black Country.

The Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) are regularly called upon to attend the most serious of incidents in the region. In August, West Midlands Police raided a house in Birmingham for drugs. The premises were barricaded and when entry was finally made, police officers came into contact with a chemical substance spread on the floor causing them to become unwell. The HART team were on hand to provide expert treatment at the scene. Afterwards the Regional Head of Police Investigations praised the professional support and partnership provided by HART.


Paramedic David Benion

based at Donnington Ambulance Station in Telford.

In September last year, the skills of three ambulance staff from Shropshire were tested to the full when they were called to a mother giving birth during her 23rd week of pregnancy. This is normally far below the time regarded as a ‘survivable birth’. Given the very difficult circumstances, the team set to work delivering and then ventilating the new born as well as treating the mother. Mum and baby were conveyed to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital where they spent many weeks before being discharged.  According to press reports at the time, the delivery was described as a ‘miracle outcome’. Two of the three members of staff were unable to attend the awards ceremony.


Steve Tarry

based at Coventry

Steve Tarry and a colleague who was unable to attend the awards ceremony were dealing with urgent patient transfers when a call was received for attendance at a  cardiac arrest only minutes away. They arrived and gave excellent CPR and medical treatment until and ambulance arrived. 


Paramedic Mark Iley – based in Worcester.

Mark and a colleague who was unable to attend the awards ceremony were sent to a property in Worcester where a patient riding a new mobility scooter had gone off a garden pathway and into a fish pond. The patient was lifted to safety and taken to hospital. They were commended for their efforts in this unusual case.


Tracey Morrell, Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer based in Brierley Hill.

Tracey is commended for her considerable efforts during the festive season, working with the Temporary Minor Injury Unit based in central Birmingham. The unit is designed to provide medical assistance to party revellers to ease the demand on 999 services. This year saw the highest number treated at the centre in 6 years. Tracey was assaulted for her trouble, which sadly highlights the inherent dangers ambulance staff face as they go about their work.


University of Worcester Student Paramedic Jon Wood

Motorcycle Paramedic Steven Cooper based in Birmingham.

Jon was off-duty and shopping in Birmingham city centre when he suddenly noticed a young woman who looked in some distress. Jon decided to go and see if he could help.  It turned out that the woman was having contractions and was within minutes of going into labour. Motorcycle paramedic Steven Cooper arrived just in time and between Steve and John they successfully delivered a baby boy in the middle of a busy shopping street. Mum and baby were later transferred to Hospital and are doing fine.


Paramedic Robert Jennings – based in Dudley

Robert and a colleague who was unable to attend the awards ceremony were attending to a patient during the early hours of the morning at an apartment complex when they noticed smoke billowing from a neighbouring flat. With Police assistance, Robert Jennings and Philip Styles gained entry and three family members were woken from their beds and quickly evacuated from the premises. It turned out to be a chip pan fire with Robert removing it from the flat by throwing it outside as it burst into flames. He admits in hindsight that it may not have been the best idea, but he acted on impulse.  This was an act above and beyond the call of duty which undoubtedly saved a family and their property.


Paramedic Aimee Lihou

Emergency Care Assistant – Mike Slater

based in Stoke On Trent.

Aimee and Mike were first on scene of a fatal road traffic accident on the M6 on Christmas Day. Sadly there was loss of life in the accident, which was widely reported in the national media.  Aimee had only been practicing as a qualified paramedic for a matter of days and Mick, as an Emergency Care Assistant, was also relatively new to the role. Both Aimee and Mick did everything they could to manage the scene to the highest professional standards.


Midlands Air Ambulance Paramedic Fay Pollock

Midlands Air Ambulance Paramedic Ian Walley

Midlands Air Ambulance Doctor Nick Crombie

based Staffordshire

7-year old Ricky-Lee Poulton was seriously injured outside his home in Halesowen last August.  Ricky-Lee suffered serious internal and pelvic injuries in a collision with a van. Ambulance staff were quickly on the scene and treated Ricky-Lee for his injuries before he was taken to hospital. Ricky-Lee is now well on the way to recovery and back at school. Ricky-Lee and his family were present at the awards ceremony and assisted in the presentation of the three commendations.


Advanced Technician Phil Turton based in Dudley

Paramedic Area Support Officer Stephanie Whitehouse based in Dudley

Emergency Medical Technician Sean Bednall based in Sandwell.

Philip Clarke and Mark Haywood – West Bromwich Albion Stewards.

It was a massive team effort to revive Des Humphries the West Bromwich Albion fan who was just settling into his seat to watch the Baggies when he suffered a cardiac arrest.  Ground stewards, paramedics and supporters sprang into action to save Des after his heart stopped beating shortly before the derby game against Aston Villa at The Hawthorns in April last year.  Off duty ambulance technician, Phil Turton, was sitting next to Des and his son Neil. Phil immediately commenced CPR as ambulance crew Stephanie Whitehouse and Sean Bednall, together with stewards Philip Clarke and Mark Haywood joined forces to treat Des.  A defibrillator was used before he was taken to hospital where Des underwent heart surgery during an eight-week stay. Des and his son Neil attended the awards ceremony and assisted in the presentation of the commendations.


The following police and fire service personnel were nominated by ambulance staff for commendation for the role they played at incidents where a person’s life was in the balance:


PC Paul Bennett and PC Craig Spencer of West Midlands Police based in Walsall.

For providing excellent CPR to a patient who gained a pulse a pulse when ambulance staff arrived.


PC Tracey Robinson of West Mercia Police based in Hereford.

Tracey was out jogging and off-duty when a man suffered a cardiac arrest at the wheel of his car. Tracey pulled the gentleman from the car and started CPR until the arrival of the ambulance.


PC Philip Oldacres of West Mercia Police, Birmingham West & Central.

In recognition of his personal and professional conduct in treating a patient following an incident in Birmingham.


PC Laura Lawson, West Mercia Police, based in Redditch

Kevan Skidmore, Community First Responder.

PC Lawson was first on scene at an incident where a man was found ‘engulfed in flames’. PC Lawson managed to extinguish the flames and was joined by Community First Responder Kevan Skidmore who dressed the burns and provided a comprehensive handover to arriving ambulance staff.


Jason Boyd, West Midlands Fire Service Watch Commander based Oldbury

Graham Blunt, Firefighter, West Midlands Fire Service, based Oldbury

Mark Phillips, Firefighter, West Midlands Fire Service based Oldbury

Neil Stokes, Firefighter, West Midlands Fire Service based Hay Mills.

Firefighters worked with paramedics at the scene of a difficult and emotional incident in the Black Country. They have been nominated by ambulance staff who noted their professionalism and significant assistance at a difficult and demanding 999 call.




Note to Editors:

Pictures to accompany the above release are available from:




and http://officialwmas.posterous.com/west-midlands-ambulance-service-long-service-34064


The following press release issued February 10th refers to Danielle Prosser’s commendation:



The following press release issued December 25th 2012 refers to Aimee Lihou and Mike Slater’s commendation:



The following press release issued by the University of Worcester October 29th 2012 refers to Jon Wood and Steven Cooper’s commendation:



The following press release issued by West Bromwich Albion October 6th 2012 refers to Phil Turton, Stephanie Whitehouse, Sean Bednall, Phil Clarke and Mark Haywood’s commendation:



Note: A cardiac arrest is not a “heart attack” and should not be referred to as such.

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