Over 2,000 years of service honoured at ceremony

Ian Jones, Elizabeth Hunt, Lisa Smith, Daniel Yates, Nicola Walford, Karen Baker

Kerri Lowe, Rebecca Harpur, Adam Owen, Jordan Rowley

Friday 8th March 2016 – 4.30pm – Murray MacGregor.

Dozens of staff from West Midlands Ambulance Service, volunteers and members of the public have been honoured at a ceremony in Warwickshire for their outstanding actions in helping others and saving lives.

A range of awards including the Queen’s Long Service Medal and Chief Officer Commendations were awarded at the Long Service and Excellence Awards ceremony, sponsored by Zoll UK Ltd. and SafeTriage at the Heart of England Conference & Events Centre on Tuesday 5th March.

This year, 25 operational members of staff became eligible for their 20 year Long Service and Good Conduct Medal which were presented by the Vice Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Colonel George Marsh TB.

In addition, 10 staff were commended for 25 years service; nine received certificates for 30 years service; 17 were honoured for 35 years in the Trust; while an incredible 11 staff were honoured for their 40 years service. The combined total from the long serving staff comes to an amazing 2,055 years.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “There is only one ambulance service that achieved every single target last year and that was our ambulance service. It is a fantastic achievement which each of you has contributed to. I know how much hard work, effort and determination each of you put in. I am really proud of the work that you do, often in very difficult circumstances, and I am very grateful for that. The quality of services that all of you provide every day is truly outstanding.”

Vice Lord Lieutenant, Colonel George Marsh said: “We call the ambulance service when we are absolutely desperate. In all of your work what stands out is your ability to comfort people in distress through an aura of quiet authority; in taking charge, giving patient’s confidence in your expertise and knowledge, whilst quickly rendering the essential care required, and often with a touch of humour when appropriate. On behalf of Her Majesty, The Queen, all citizens here in the West Midlands, a sincere thank-you for the fantastic job that you do, day in, day out.”

Sir Graham Meldrum, Trust Chairman, added: “In February my wife suffered a heart attack. At that moment when you have talked so many times in Board meetings about patient care and suddenly you realise what that really means to you as a person. When the crew arrived, that reassurance that they gave was amazing. To restore confidence that things are going to be alright. When you are on the receiving end of it you really do understand what that means. Coming here to this ceremony is a chance for me to say thank you so much for everything that you do for the people of the West Midlands every day; it is very much appreciated.”


Public Commendation Award:
Cerys Evans – member of the public from Telford
This award goes to a very courageous young girl who demonstrated bravery at an incident that happened at her home in Telford in July 2015. At six years of age, Cerys Evans witnessed her brother having a rare convulsion. Cerys lowered him from the sofa to the floor and placed him in the recovery position whilst shouting to her mum for help. Cerys remained calm and took swift, decisive actions with potentially life-saving actions.

Public Commendation Award:
Katie Bayliss
Katie is a young lady who witnessed her mum fall through a glass coffee table while out shopping. Katie went to get help from a shop assistant whilst her dad stemmed the bleeding. She receives her award for showing immense strength and bravery on that day.

Public Commendation Award:
Joseph Moore – member of the public from Oldwinsford
Joseph is a young boy who displayed bravery well beyond his years whilst at an incident that happened at his home in Oldswinford in July 2015. At five years old, he witnessed his dad become unconscious. Joseph was extremely helpful, even telling the controller that he could not reach the lock on the front door and so he was waiting for the ambulance at the back gate. Joseph remained calm and cheerful whilst his dad was receiving treatment. There is no doubt that his dad’s recovery was a result of Joseph’s mature manner and actions.

Public Commendation Award:
Bella Kean and Zoe Lawrence – members of the public from Worcestershire
Bella and Zoe are 11 years old. Following a visit from Worcester Paramedic Alison Vinson to Pitmaston Primary School, the two girls went home and made their own instructions to show children how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator). The girls felt inspired to make this video in order to help other children learn and to show that children can learn the skill. Alison Vinson now uses their video to show other children in schools just how easy it is. Alison also use it as a ‘selling point’ in order to get anxious head teachers on board with the scheme. To date, their video has had about 15,000 views! We have been inundated with compliments for the girls from both the public and the media. We have even forwarded the video to a local MP to show him just how easy it was to teach CPR/defibrillation to children.

Chief Officer Commendation:
Keith Harrison – Advanced Technician, Worcester Hub
So, you’re in a Worcestershire farmyard faced with a raging bull that has just attacked a farmer. You and your colleagues get the injured farmer to safety but the bull you have managed to get into a temporary pen is keen to escape once again and go on the attack. What do you do? If you are Keith, you manage to pacify the angry animal and avoid it breaking out of a flimsy compound ensuring the safety of the patient and colleagues around you. His actions earned him high praise from his colleagues on the day.

Chief Officer Commendation:
Ben Rhodes – Advanced Paramedic, Pensnett Community Ambulance Station
In May of last year, Ben Rhodes was conveying a patient in his rapid response vehicle when he witnessed another car leave the road, colliding with a wall. That car caught fire and Ben pulled the patient from the burning vehicle.

Chief Officer Commendation:
Carl Ledbury – Birmingham
Carl is given an award for his commitment over many years to the role of Ambulance Services coordinator for the Civilian Services Contingent. It has meant that the Service is represented at a range of formal engagements such as Remembrance Day at the Cenotaph in London, to more local events and celebrations.

Chief Officer Commendation:
Kerri Lowe – Student Paramedic, Stoke Hub; Rebecca Harpur – Student Paramedic, Stafford Hub: Adam Owen – Student Paramedic, Shrewsbury Hub; Jordan Rowley – Student Paramedic, Stafford Hub
In May 2015, four of our student paramedics were on their fourth week of study. Whilst travelling home they came across an incident in Himley, Dudley, where four patients, including two children, had all sustained injuries in a road traffic collision. The four student paramedics stopped and rendered aid until crews arrived. The students then remained on scene assisting the crews with patient assessment and transfer.

Chief Officer Commendation:
Stephanie Coles – Paramedic, Coventry Hub; Stephen Cooper – Technician, Coventry Hub
This award goes to two brave operational colleagues who, without hesitation, climbed into the back of a refuse collection truck to administer supportive treatment including IV analgesia to a patient whose legs were trapped by the compacted refuse.

Chief Officer Commendation:
Duncan Spencer – Emergency Operations Centre Controller, Brierley Hill
One of the key strengths of the ambulance service is its teamwork. This was exemplified by Duncan’s compassionate support for a team member through a personal family crisis. His organisation and management not only allowed a father to see his unwell daughter in hospital but also kept the service running smoothly.

Chief Officer Commendation:
Sophie Greener – Student Paramedic, Coventry Hub
In August 2015, student paramedic Sophie Greener was out with an ambulance crew when they were faced with a multi casualty fatal road traffic collision with no one else on scene. The incident was on the opposite carriageway from their location on the M69 between Leicester and Coventry. Working with the other members of the crew, Sophie Greener contacted control and responded via the next junction possible. They remained calm, focused and continued with the treatment of patients until cleared by East Midlands Ambulance Service crews who attended the incident.

Chief Officer Commendation:
Lisa Smith – Emergency Operations Centre Controller, Stafford; Elizabeth Hunt – Paramedic, Stafford; Karen Baker – Critical Care Paramedic, MERIT; Ian Jones – Air Ambulance Paramedic, Tattenhill; Daniel Yates – Emergency Operations Centre Call Assessor, Brierley Hill; Nicola Walford – Clinical Support Desk Paramedic, Brierley Hill;
In August 2015 a 23 month old was found face down in a pond in Rugeley, Staffordshire. The call came through as a cardiac arrest and was handled very calmly and professionally by the call assessor. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) advice was given to a very high standard until the arrival of a Community First Responder, followed shortly after by the ambulance crew, the Area Support Officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance. At the end of the call the child could be heard taking some breaths without assistance and was flown to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where she fully recovered. The award is presented for the promptness and accuracy of your combined actions and dedicated teamwork which has contributed to saving the life of this child.

Chief Officer Commendation:
Jack Lewis – Paramedic, Aston Hub; Cameron McVittie – Paramedic, Northfield Community Ambulance Station
This next award goes to Jack Lewis and Cameron McVittie for their use of social media to turn a local issue into a national story that will save lives. Jack and Cameron have shown great dedication in posting regular tweets to support the Trust in meeting its obligation to engage with the public. In particular the pair have campaigned tirelessly about the dangers of so called ‘legal highs’ and the dangers posed by these substances. Their tweets attracted national media interest and was also used by the Government in drafting new legislation to outlaw some of these substances. You can follow them on http://www.twitter.com and search for @wmascmcvittie and @wmasjacklewis

Chief Officer Commendation:
Michelle Smith – PTS Driver, Coventry
We have many dedicated Patient Transport Services staff whose passion and efforts help save lives every day. Michelle Smith, was on her way to complete her ‘First Person on Scene’ first aid course when she came across a serious road traffic collision. Whilst waiting for the ambulance she treated the patient’s serious injuries, liaised with Emergency Operation Centre and assisted the crew and Doctor on their arrival.

Chief Officer Commendation:
Christopher Cooling – PTS Driver, Coventry
In December 2015, Christopher was working as part of a Patient Transport Service crew in Coventry. Unfortunately, during the Sunday shift, his crew mate had a serious asthma attack. Christopher’s prompt actions in assisting her and the A&E crew that responded to his raising of the alarm helped his colleague to have a positive outcome. Not only did he go above and beyond at the scene he also phoned his colleagues husband and family to inform them of the situation.

Outstanding Achievement:
Peter Hill – Paramedic, Lichfield
The age of retirement is moving upwards as we are all well aware. For some people retirement never entered their head and we are pleased to welcome a paramedic from Lichfield who is now officially our oldest paramedic on frontline duty. Peter Hill is 72 year old and still very much part of the Lichfield operations.

Outstanding Achievement:
Julian Rhodes – Head of Education & Training
Julian has led the development and implementation of a new suite of operational and driving education programmes nationally from inception through to delivery. For over two year he has been engaging with all 10 English ambulance trusts to ensure the smooth transition from the previous IHCD programmes to a new FutureQual academic platform. Two specific new programmes are:
• Level 4 Associate Ambulance Practitioner – replacing the Technician course
• Level 3 Certificate in Emergency Response Ambulance Driving – replacing the D1/D2 courses

Outstanding Achievement:
Tracey Raymond Bishop – Head of Performance Cell
In the summer of 2015 NHS England commenced significant work to re-assess how the National Ambulance Response Standards should look for the future, recognising the current response standards were out-dated. WMAS was asked to join this important work as an operational trial site. At the same time, NHS England also realised they need to collect, collate and analyse significant operational data from each Trust, both within the trial sites but also for all Trusts nationally. NHS England specifically asked WMAS if Tracy Raymond Bishop could be put forward to lead this important piece of work. Tracy developed significant data collection methodology and analysis tool to ensure this large quantity of data could be collected efficiency and effectively over a six and 12 month rolling period. This information is being used to forge the new emerging national Ambulance Response Standards.

Mentor Award:
Phil Crowther – Paramedic, Evesham Community Ambulance Station
Mark Tomlinson – Paramedic, Stafford Hub
Steve Yeates – Clinical Team Mentor, Dudley Hub
Noor Parker – Clinical Team Mentor, Aston Hub
With the success of our huge student paramedic recruitment campaigns, the Trust has literally hundreds of new faces out on the frontline. To support our student paramedics in their chosen career the Trust has put in place a mentoring programme in each of our operating areas. Earlier this year we asked for nominations for Mentor of the Year and Ambulance Hub of the Year: Dudley Hub
Mark Chapman – Area Manager
Pete Hemus – Area Support Officer
V Hodgkins – Clinical Team Mentor
Nicola Howarth – Clinical Team Mentor
Neil Gregory – Advanced Paramedic

Chairman’s Award:
Trust Chaplain, Rev Dr Tony Stone, Brierley Hill
Rev. Dr Stone has been our Chaplain for 13 years and during that time he has tirelessly raised the spirits of our people with his interest, friendliness, good humour and compassion. He has been a welcome and familiar face around our region and will be missed by all who know him. Reverend Stone, we thank you for your service.


Note to Editors:

The complete list of award winners and citations can be found on http://www.officialwmas.wordpress.com

Photographs of the above are available for download from http://www.flickr.com/photos/officialwmas/sets/
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