Long Service and Excellence is celebrated at ceremony



Monday 3rd April 2017 – 5.30pm – Jamie Arrowsmith.

Greg Du Bois, Tracy Curry-Peace, Osman Hussain.jpg

More than 100 awards were handed out when staff from West Midlands Ambulance Service, volunteers and members of the public attended a ceremony in Dudley for their outstanding actions in helping others and saving lives.

The Trust’s annual Long Service and Excellence Awards ceremony, sponsored by Excelerate, Mills & Reeve, Zoll, Higgs and Sons, the University of Worcester, Coventry University and Imprint, took place at the Copthorne Hotel in Brierely Hill on Thursday, 30th March and saw a range of awards handed out including the Queen’s Long Service Medal and Chief Officer Commendations.

This year, 12 operational members of staff became eligible for their 20 year Long Service and Good Conduct Medal which were presented by the Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, John Crabtree OBE.

In addition, 12 staff were commended for 25 years service; ten received certificates for 30 years service; one member of staff was honoured for 35 years in the Trust; whilst a further three were commended their 40 years service.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “There is only one ambulance service that has achieved an outstanding rating from the CQC and that is our ambulance service.

“That is down to the hard work of every member of staff who shows incredible dedication to providing the very highest level of patient care, something for which I am truly grateful.

“I am immensely proud of the work that you all do, often in very difficult circumstances, and I want to thank you all for making us the best ambulance service in the country.”

Lord Lieutenant, John Crabtree OBE, added: “We are hugely fortunate in having such a high quality ambulance service in the West Midlands and I know how important the things are that lead to that, the training, the leadership, the teamwork and the ability to work together to put other people first. All of those skills are clearly evident here in the West Midlands.

“I offer a sincere thank you to all of you for the fantastic job that you do day in, day out and I know that your family and friends are hugely proud of you – thank you very much.”

Sir Graham Meldrum, Trust Chairman, added: “It truly is an outstanding achievement to have received the highest possible rating from the CQC and it is down to your dedication – the sort of dedication that is recognised by the awards being handed out today.

“Today is a celebration of a first class, dedicated and outstanding ambulance service. That is something that has been achieved by the work of all of our members of staff, our award winners today and everyone connected with the service who all have the same desire, providing the best level of patient care. Thank you all, for everything that you do.”


Chief Officer’s Commendation:

Police Constable Shaun Leroux; Derek Varden – Advanced Paramedic, Willenhall Hub; Stephen Gennoe – Technician; Willenhall Hub; Herpreet Lally – Student Paramedic

In October 2016, Stephen Gennoe, Derek Varden and Herpreet Lally were responding to a reported double stabbing. Whilst en-route the ambulance was rammed by the alleged offender’s car. The alleged offender then got out of his vehicle and started intimidating the crew, threatening them with a knife. It should be noted that Steven was injured in the altercation and that this was Herpreet’s first day at work.

PC Leroux made the scene quickly and engaged the offender, putting himself in harm’s way to protect the public and ambulance staff. Following the incident, the crew continued to provide emergency care to the victims on scene.

Chief Officer’s Commendation:

Claire Main – Paramedic, Evesham

Claire Main was tasked to a cardiac arrest in April 2016 with no further details known. On arrival at the address, Claire walked through the open front door and saw a male standing at the top of the stairs holding a large knife. Claire told him to put the knife down and step aside. She then walked past him out of concern for the patient who was in cardiac arrest and went into another room. Upon entering the room Claire found the person who had made the call and a deceased female. She then bravely proceeded to get herself and the caller out of the property to safety.

Chief Officer’s Commendation:

Shannon Lee – Paramedic, Worcester

Shannon Lee attended to a 45-year-old man initially complaining of chest pain. On arrival, the patient was threatening suicide, appeared agitated, anxious and under the influence of alcohol.  The patient walked into the kitchen and attempted to stab himself.   Shannon acted quickly to disarm the patient, ensuring he didn’t cause himself harm.

Chief Officer’s Commendation:

Paul Clarke – Advanced Paramedic, Coventry Hub; Courtney Hewison – Student Paramedic

Paul Clarke and Courtney Hewison witnessed a car weaving across the M6 motorway, colliding with a number of barriers. They initially managed to get the car to stop on the hard shoulder but as they approached the car and began speaking to the driver, he sped off. The crew followed and managed to run a rolling roadblock behind the car as it continued to glance off barriers for over two miles before it crashed for a final time.

The crew alerted the call centre, activated CCTV on the ambulance and gave a comprehensive commentary on what was happening. Once the car had come to a stop they rapidly assessed the patient who was having a diabetic hypoglycaemic attack and treated him accordingly whilst considering he may have other injuries from the crash.

Had it not been for their quick actions in setting up a rolling roadblock there may have been many other innocent motorists caught up in collision with the gentleman’s car as it careered around the carriageway.

Chief Officer’s Commendation:

Samantha Wilyman – Paramedic Area Support Officer, Dudley

Samantha Wilyman was tasked to a job where a male was threatening to jump from a bridge. Sam and a WPC made their way onto the bridge to speak to the patient who had self-discharged from a mental health hospital. He was polite and happy to speak to them. He was, however, the wrong side of the barrier. He allowed Sam and the WPC to attach a police “CAS strap” around him while they talked, in order to secure him to the railings.

He then, without warning, slid out of the strap in an attempt to jump. At this point, Sam and the WPC hung onto him until further police officers arrived. After a very fraught and anxious struggle they managed to pull the man to safety.  The actions carried out were simply above and beyond and if not carried out would have without doubt resulted in very serious injuries, if not death of the patient.

Chief Officer’s Commendation:

Michael Hipgrave – Clinical Team Mentor, Aston; Jennifer Hipgrave; Yasmin Bickerton.

Off duty paramedic Mike Hipgrave and his wife Jennifer Hipgrave were out shopping when they overheard shouting and calls for help.

An 18-month-old girl was found to be choking and in cardiac arrest. Mike and Jennifer immediately began performing CPR and ultimately were able to save the girl’s life. Thankfully, little Sophia continues to thrive after her ordeal whilst mum, Yasmin, has organised life support courses to pass on the lifesaving message to others. She has also raised £150 which has been donated to the Trust as a thank you for saving Sophia’s life.

Outstanding Achievement:

Jan Vann – Advanced Paramedic, Coventry

Jan Vann receives recognition for her part in the BAFTA Award winning Children’s TV show, Operation Ouch. The programme finished its fourth series (ten episodes in each series) with Jan being featured in every single episode, highlighting to children what paramedics do every single day as she is followed by a camera crew.

It is the most watched TV programme on children’s BBC and she has even featured in a ‘Puberty special’ aimed at older children. Maverick TV put together the programme in conjunction with the Trust’s press office. It is the only TV programme the Trust has been involved with that is aimed at children and is the only BAFTA award winning show the Trust has been involved with.

The Peter Murtagh Inspirational Award:

Tracy Oakley – Emergency Care Practitioner, Warwick

Tracy Oakley is a valued member of staff and a talented Emergency Care Practitioner. Nothing is ever negative with Tracy; she promotes a positive attitude to every part of the job and extends this in her role as a mentor for budding students.

For some time, Tracy has acted as an allocated mentor for students who may need extra help and guidance in clinical terms to achieve their full potential. She is an inspiration to people in this job and her history in emergency and urgent care builds a wealth of experience making her an absolute asset to anyone she works with, and the patients she serves.

Tracy regularly goes out of her way and works hard to fulfil her leadership and mentoring responsibilities whilst setting a critically high benchmark for students who carry her name forward as their mentor.


Notes to Editors:

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

To download:

  • Left-click on the appropriate gallery (defined by geographical area)
  • Left-click on the appropriate thumbnail to reveal a full-size picture.
  • Left-click on the download icon (downward pointing arrow to horizontal line) if present .From the resultant list of picture file sizes, select “original”. Select “Save” or “Save As”.
  • If there is no download icon, right-click on the picture and select “Save Picture As”
  • Please credit Emagica Photography/WMAS


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