Friday 8th November 2013 – 3.20pm – Chris Kowalik.
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An awards ceremony has been held to honour members of the public from across the West Midlands region who have gone beyond the call of duty to help save lives and support the work of West Midlands Ambulance Service’s 4,000 staff.
The event, sponsored by Cardiac Science, Ferno UK and SP Services at the Best Western Plus Stoke-on-Trent Moat House on Thursday 7th November recognised the efforts of Community First Responders, St John Ambulance, other emergency services and other voluntary organisations, businesses and individuals.
Addressing the audience, West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive Anthony Marsh said: “Tonight is a celebration to say a really big thank-you to all of you and your colleagues for what you do on a regular basis to help and support the ambulance service here in the West Midlands but, more importantly, to provide the very best care that you consistently do on a daily basis to save as many lives as we can. It’s not by accident that West Midlands Ambulance Service is one of the best performing ambulance services in our country. That takes an awful lot of hard work, not just by our own staff that we employ but also by the volunteers. Over two thousand volunteers work on a regular basis to support the ambulance service here in the West Midlands and I am really grateful for all the support that you provide. I would like to add my personal thanks to your partners and your families for the support they give you. I know that what you do is held in very high regard and I am really proud of the work that you do.”
The Trust’s Chairman, Sir Graham Meldrum turned to poetry to pay tribute:
“Oh volunteers come ye may, Serving the communities both night and day, I’d like to speak on behalf of all the nation, And thank-you for your dedication.”
Presenting some of the awards Susie Lillingston, the High Sheriff of Staffordshire said: “The ambulance service is under increasing pressure every day and as volunteers you have an exceptional role as you help in so many different ways. All of you are invaluable and essential services for which we, the general public, are very grateful. Let’s not forget those who do the fundraising which is a thankless task but without which much of the work some of you do just wouldn’t be possible.”
Award winners from Shropshire and their citations:
Chief Officer Commendation: Brett Smith and Natalie Western from St John Ambulance in Telford
Brett Smith and Natalie Western, both from Telford St John Ambulance group, were on duty at Shrewsbury Flower Show in August when they were called to a man who had collapsed. With the help of Brett and Natalie, the patient appeared to recover but just before he boarded his coach to return home the gentleman collapsed once again and stopped breathing. Brett and Natalie were on hand a second time to start immediate CPR. They managed to stabilise the patient before ambulance crews arrived. Brett and Natalie were awarded in recognition of their excellent efforts at the scene in treating their first cardiac arrest patient.
Good Conduct Award: PC Tim Blackham and PC Alex Saxton, Force Operations Support Team, West Mercia Police, Shrewsbury Police Station.
PC Blackham and PC Saxton arrived on scene in Telford to find a car had left the road and caught fire. Two of the occupants were already out of the vehicle. However, one person remained in the car. Despite the car being well alight, the Officers bravely reached into the car to cut the passenger’s seatbelt and drag him from the wreckage to a safe distance before the car was totally engulfed in flames. Ambulance crews at the scene commended the bravery of PC Blackham and PC Saxton.
Training and Defibrillator Award: Kay Kendall from Veolia Environmental Services in Shropshire
Kay was recognised for her outstanding work to place Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) at a number of sites operated by the company she works for. Veolia Environmental Services has installed AEDs in 8 sites in Shropshire and across other areas of the West Midlands. Kay Kendall has had a significant hand in training staff in basic life support, AED operation and awareness. For her enthusiasm and outstanding contribution to saving lives, Kay Kendall was presented with a Training & Defibrillator Award.
Training and Defibrillator Award: Richard Morris from Alcoa in Telford
Richard Morris has been a Community First Responder in Telford for four years. He works for Alcoa Fastening Systems in Telford and instigated the purchase, training, and location of AEDs at the company’s premises. Richard has also managed to get the company involved in fundraising and delivering community training in Telford. He has delivered most of this training himself and he always assists in any CFR training that is taking place. Richard was unable to attend. His award was received on his behalf by Terry Foster, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Community Response Manager for Shropshire.
Business Support Award: John Smout from The Keys Pub & Restaurant in St. Martins
Pubs and restaurants are the mainstay of any community and very often get involved in fundraising for a good cause. The Keys Pub and Restaurant in St. Martins has been nominated for its consistent fundraising to keep the local CFR schemes running. The efforts of landlord John Smout and his staff in running firework nights, quiz nights and race nights are a credit to St. Martins and a lifeline to the local CFR schemes. John was unable to attend. His award was received on his behalf by Terry Foster, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Community Response Manager for Shropshire.
Distinguished Service Award: Liz Vanegas De Quickenden from Cleobury Mortimer
Although Liz has only been a responder for a short time she has thrown herself into the role. She gives up many hours to respond and also gives up many hours to organise and train people in her local town of Cleobury Mortimer. She has taught students in the local schools and colleges, as well as teaching AED awareness to many local organisations.
Chief Officer Commendation: Tracey Prosser from Church Stretton
In July, Tracey was called to the Long Mynd Hotel near Church Stretton to a guest who was choking. Tracey was already at the hotel and immediately went to their aid and started to treat the patient before the ambulance crew arrived. In fact so cool under pressure was Tracey that after she had stabilised the patient and handed over to the ambulance crew she calmly went into another room at the hotel to give a talk on the CFR scheme to the local Round Table.
Chief Officer Commendation: John Roberts from St. Martins
Very often at these events, praise is rightly given to people who were first on scene to help treat a patient. We often forget about the family and friends who are caught up in the distressing situation. CFR John Roberts attended a serious incident on the River Dee. Whilst emergency teams made desperate attempts to rescue a swimmer, John was involved reassuring the distressed family, which can often be just as traumatic as dealing with the incident itself. For his calm, professional and excellent work at the scene, John Roberts was presented with a Chief Officer Commendation.
Outstanding Achievement Award: Dave Moss from Telford & Wrekin Community First Responder scheme
Dave Moss been a Community First Responder for nearly 12 years, and was responsible for helping set up Telford and Wrekin First Responders. He put a tremendous amount of effort into fundraising to set up the group and has been group co-ordinator until recently. Unfortunately, Dave has now stepped down from responding. Dave was presented with the award in recognition of his many years of hard work and commitment.
Volunteer Team of the Year Award: St John Ambulance, Venture Event Medical Management Ltd. and West Midlands Ambulance Service Logistics Dept. at V Festival in Weston Park.
Every year WMAS, St John Ambulance and Venture Event Medical Management join together to provide emergency medical cover to over 85,000 revellers attending the V Festival at Weston Park. The operation is regarded as an exceptional team effort and this year’s was arguably the best yet. Over 300 St John volunteers were active at the site administering medical attention to over 1,500 patients. All the volunteers deserve the highest praise for the hard work involved. In particular, the management team who helped to delivered a safe and well run medical facility at this year’s event.
Glen Curry collected the award on behalf of St John Ambulance. Carol Taylor collected the award on behalf of Venture Event Medical Management. Tracey Morrell collected the award on behalf of West Midlands Ambulance Service