Jamie Arrowsmith – Wednesday 30th December 2020 – 10.30pm.
An Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer from West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) has been named in this year’s New Year’s Honour’s List.
Keith Prior, who is a National Ambulance Resilience Unit (NARU) Director, has a career spanning 39-years in the ambulance service and he has been awarded the Queen’s Ambulance Medal (QAM) to reflect his dedication and distinguished service to his profession.
The QAM ensures that the dedication of ambulance staff has the same level of Royal recognition as other members of the emergency services.
Starting out as an ambulance service cadet in Greater Manchester aged 16, Keith has devoted his career to improving patient care and saving countless lives as a paramedic and in managerial roles. As well as working in Manchester, he has also worked for Yorkshire Ambulance Service and the Welsh Ambulance Service, joining WMAS full time in 2011, having already had two pervious spells in the West Midlands.
In his role at NARU, Keith has made a significant contribution to UK national resilience by ensuring the effective ambulance response to major, mass-casualty events including London terror attacks, severe flooding and the response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Under his leadership, NARU is now recognised as a world-class central resource for the national management and co-ordination of the pre-hospital mass casualty response to particularly high-risk and challenging event.
Keith, who spends a large amount of his time working away from home, is popular with staff, demonstrates loyalty and compassion to those he works with and also supports many local community projects outside of work.
Speaking about his award, Keith said: “I am extremely honoured to receive this award for what is ultimately, doing a job that I love. Throughout my 39-year career within the ambulance service I have worked with some fantastic people and I fully recognise that I would not be in this position without a great deal of hard work and support from colleagues, wherever I have worked.
“I am proud to have helped so many people since I started off as a cadet aged 16 and feel privileged to have been able to continue doing so in the years that have followed.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family for their continued support, without which, I would not have been able to enjoy the fantastic career that I have.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “I have known Keith for 20 years and he deserves huge credit for the commitment he has always shown to providing and delivering the very best level of patient care.
“For him to receive the QAM is a fitting tribute to his many years of hard work in many different areas of the ambulance service and I would like to thank him for his dedication and tremendous service he has provided to patients all over the country.”