Murray MacGregor – Tuesday 20th September 2022 – 11.30am.
Like so many people across our nation, staff from West Midlands Ambulance Service bowed their heads at 11.55am yesterday morning to remember Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Staff at Bromsgrove, Dudley and Shrewsbury were among those who marked the moment.
For four though, it was a particularly special day as they represented the NHS ambulance services taking part in the parade ahead of Her Majesty’s coffin as it was taken from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Gate as part of the Civilian Services Contingent.
Mark Hayes (Lichfield), Jo Withington (Shrewsbury), Nikki Albutt (HQ) and Adam Aston (Sandwell) are all members of the Trust’s Ceremonial Unit and spent five days in London in preparation practicing their ceremonial drill in the middle of the night before taking their place as part of the State Funeral yesterday.
In addition to the four in the parade, Operations Manager Angela Hand (Bromsgrove) and Tactical Incident Commander Tim Atherton (HQ) were part of the large contingent of ambulance staff from across the country assisting London Ambulance Service given the millions of people who were in the capital for the funeral.
Earlier in the week, two members of the Hazardous Area Response Team, Ben Pallante and Anthony Kelham also went to London as part of the mutual aid being provided to the capital’s ambulance service.
Speaking about his time in the parade, Adam Aston, said: “It has been an incredible honour to represent the entire NHS Ambulance workforce as part of the at the State funeral.”
Jo Withington added: “I have been to the Festival of Remembrance before and am a Reservist as well, but these last few days and yesterday in particular, are without question, the greatest honour of my life.”
Mark Hayes said: “It was an absolute honour and privilege to represent not only WMAS but the NHS and pay our resects to Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II. I know I speak for all four of us when I say we did the absolute best we could to provide a truly British send off to Her Royal Highness.”
Nikki Albutt added: “It was a phenomenal experience, so spectacular, yet so sombre; it is something I will treasure for the rest of my life. We practiced for up to eight hours a day for six days, but nothing will beat the memories we all have.”
Jamie Arrowsmith – Monday 5th September 2022 – 9:15am.
The only way is up for West Midlands Ambulance Service paramedic Claire Jones as she prepares to climb the highest single free-standing mountain above sea level in the world, Kilimanjaro.
As well as her paramedic role, Claire, who is based in Lichfield, volunteers for the Trust’s Staff Advice and Liaison Service, a peer support network within WMAS that provides signposting, advice and a listening ear to all members of staff. It is because of that role that Claire has decided to raise funds for The Ambulance Service Charity (TASC) when completing her trek up Kilimanjaro, for which she flies out on Friday.
TASC provides a range of services to support the mental health, physical rehabilitation and financial wellbeing of the UK’s ambulance staff, and is a charity close to Claire’s heart.
“I am hugely passionate about supporting ambulance staff with their health and wellbeing and if I can complete what will be the most challenging event I have ever done in my whole life for my colleagues, I will be very happy!”
Ahead of the 5,895m climb, Claire has been training hard, bracing herself for altitude sickness and temperatures ranging from 30 degrees at the bottom to -27 degrees during the night as she nears the mountain’s ecological zones to the summit.
Claire added: “This will be the hardest trek I have ever attempted, and I am extremely motivated to raise as much money as I can to fund as many counselling support sessions as I can for TASC.”
To help raise as much money as possible, Claire is fully funding the trek herself, so all sponsorship money raised will go directly towards the fund-raising pot and towards supporting her colleagues. If you would like to sponsor Claire or read more about her charity challenge, please click here.
Jordan Eggington – Thursday 1st September 2022 – 10.00am.
A man has been taken to hospital in a critical condition after a road traffic collision in West Bromwich last night.
West Midlands Ambulance Service was called just after 6pm to reports of an RTC involving an HGV and broken-down vehicle on the Black Country New Road. Two ambulances, two paramedic officers, a MERIT trauma doctor and two critical care paramedics and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance attended the scene.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Crews arrived at the scene to find the occupant of the car, a man, in a critical condition with serious injuries.
“Staff worked quickly to administer advanced trauma care to the man at the scene, with treatment continuing onboard a land ambulance to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.”