Heroic acts, bravery and long service celebrated at Trust Awards

Jamie Arrowsmith – Friday 16th June 2023 – 4.45pm

Heroic acts, heart-warming tales and long service were celebrated at West Midlands Ambulance Service’s annual awards ceremonies yesterday (Thursday).

The Staff Long Service & Excellence Awards and Excellence in the Community Awards were held at The Copthorne Hotel in Brierley Hill with almost 700 guests attending across the two events. Guests included the Deputy-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Ian Sargeant, and the High Sheriff of the County of West Midlands, Wade Lyn.

This year, 56 members of staff were recognised for having given 20 years of service to WMAS, 15 staff were commended for 25 years’ service, 14 received certificates for 30 years’ service, three members of staff were honoured for 35 years in the Trust whilst two celebrated the incredible landmark of 40 years of service. Other awards to be handed out included Chief Officer Commendations, Student Paramedic of the Year, Mentor Awards, Apprenticeship Awards, Community Initiative and Partnership Awards; St John Ambulance Awards; CFR Long Service Awards and the CFR of the Year.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “In the aftermath of the pandemic, the continuing cost of living crisis and everything else that is presenting us all with challenges at the moment, it is fantastic to have the opportunity to celebrate some of the incredible achievements of our staff, volunteers and members of the public.

“We are extremely lucky to have such a professional workforce and team of volunteers who have a desire to always do their very best for the patient.

“There were so many stories of people going above and beyond, in all sorts of situations, and to everyone who was recognised at these fantastic events, I would like to say a big well done, and thank you.”

Deputy-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Ian Sargeant, said: “Being at the awards made me extremely happy. There are lots of others words I could use here, but ‘happy’ is the right one.

“That is because an organisation such as West Midlands Ambulance Service only works if everybody comes together, from those on the frontline to those behind the scenes, and everyone in between.

“We’ve heard about tales of commitment to care, loyalty, bravery and dedication and it was an honour to be present to see some outstanding members of staff recognised.”

High Sheriff of the County of West Midlands, Wade Lyn, said: “It is so important people are recognised for the excellence they show, and we have seen people from across the region celebrated, which is fantastic.

“There are so many selfless people recognised at these events, all of whom are a real inspiration to their communities.

By celebrating heroes we recognise the positive impact they make and encourage others to follow in their footsteps, which is so important. Well done to you all.”

Prof Ian Cumming, WMAS Chairman, said: “It is important we recognise our staff, volunteers and members of the community because they all do remarkable things, day in, day out, despite the NHS facing some of the toughest challenges every seen. I send a huge and heartfelt thank you to them all for everything they do.”

The Trust’s awards were sponsored by Coventry University, University of Wolverhampton, University of Worcester, Mills and Reeve, Medskills Academy, Birmingham City University, Jays Sourcing, Staffordshire University, VCS Ltd, DS Medical, G4S, Advantage Storing and Handling Ltd and Defibshop.


Notes to Editors:

Images from the awards ceremony can be found and downloaded from https://www.flickr.com/photos/officialwmas/albums

Main picture: CFR Volunteer of the Year, Jean Morgan

Please credit West Midlands Ambulance Service for any images used.

Selected Award Winners and Citations

Chief Officer’s Commendation – Amanda Entwisle (Donnington)

In August last year, Donnington Paramedic Amanda Entwisle found herself in the unenviable position of engaging with a patient who was on the wrong side of a bridge above a busy road.

Amanda showed great calmness and professionalism in communicating with the patient, before also having to demonstrate quick-thinking and bravery, as the patient attempted to jump.

Managing to grab the patient, Amanda supported her whole body until colleagues could assist, approximately 30 seconds later.

It took multiple hands to restrain the patient from trying to jump again, but Amanda continued to support her throughout, whilst maintaining patient dignity at all times.

Student Paramedic of the Year – Harry Carter (Erdington)

This year’s winner made a lasting impression on his Clinical Team Mentor, who said:

“He is someone who always has a positive approach and builds good patient rapport at every incident.

“I never worry about his practice, he is always very knowledgeable and treats everyone with dignity and respect.

“I had the biggest job of my career when crewed with him, and I’m so glad I did as we worked amazingly together, with good communication throughout.

“Even though he had never been faced with the situation before he got on with job, giving high quality care to try for the best patient outcome. The job went so smoothly and he was so supportive, I couldn’t have wished to be with a better person that day.

“Not only did he demonstrate that he is a good clinician, he also checked on staff welfare and I could see he genuinely cared about his colleagues. He is a real pleasure to work with and a credit to West Midlands Ambulance Service.”

Mentor Hub of the Year – Stafford Hub

The team at our Mentor Hub of the Year create a passion for learning within the hub and support staff and students by going above and beyond.

They support new staff and students with CPD events, knowledge checks, information boards, school and local community visits, case reviews and inductions amongst many other things.

The mentors all work with so much passion and show an incredibly high level of dedication, they always get the best out of their students and are a real asset to the hub.

Working with great passion and dedication, the mentors are collectively a real asset to the hub who are greatly appreciated by the students they teach.

Diversity and Inclusion Award – Manjeet Malhi

Manjeet Malhi took up the position of Health and Wellbeing Manager in September and immediately demonstrated an inclusive and people-centred approach to the role.

Manjeet has developed on the good work that was already in place to support staff with their health and wellbeing across the Trust, further researching, implementing and leading on new initiatives and provisions.

She has played a key role in the development of the Trust’s cultural and Health and Well-Being calendar, promoting and raising awareness of key events, celebrations and health promotion days that cover a diverse spectrum.

Always encouraging an inclusive approach, Manjeet shares a diverse range of support provisions, including free food available to all at local Gurdwaras, as well as specialist mental health support services targets at specific groups within the workforce.

It is evident that Manjeet is considerate of everyone and this is demonstrated by her wide understanding and thoughtful approach when implementing and promoting health and wellbeing services, thinking about needs and considerations from particular groups of staff, and how best we can support them.

Young Person of Outstanding Bravery – Summer Beale

A regular Tuesday morning in March for 12-year-old Summer Beale took a sudden and unexpected twist when her mum collapsed in front of her.

Summer showed great maturity in how to respond to the situation, dialling 999 before providing care for her mum whilst waiting for the ambulance to arrive to their Rugeley home.

On the arrival of the ambulance crew, mum was a little unstable, but thankfully became more stable whilst transported to hospital.

The ambulance crew who attended were full of praise for Summer, describing her as incredibly calm and brave, something that cannot be easy to maintain, when you see your mum so poorly in front of you, especially at such a young age.

The ambulance crew felt Summer deserved recognition for her actions that day, and so do we.

CFR Chief Officer Commendation – Terry Flower (Solihull)

FastAid Solihull CFR Terry Flower is one of the most dedicated volunteers the Trust can call on.

During the last ten years, he has attended an incredible 3,570 calls and booked himself on duty for more than 12,000 hours.

But during all of that time, he can’t have had many 72 hours as eventful as he did at the end of October.

Terry was tasked to two cardiac arrests in the space of three days, and on both occasions successfully managed to restart the patient’s heart, a fantastic achievement.

When asked about it, Terry said ‘It’s a privilege to be part of a team equipped and trained to respond to people in urgent need of help.’

CFR Chief Officer Commendation – Martin Bennett (Bromyard)

I’m sure we’ve all had conversations about time flying by, well spare a thought for Martin Bennett who has been a CFR since 2005.

That’s 18 years of responding on behalf of the ambulance service and volunteering to be there for members of the community, in their hour of need.

April this year saw Martin achieve a significant landmark, when he attended his 100th cardiac arrest. That’s an incredible thought, all those times racing to try and help people in their hour of need and providing support to family and friends who are going through extremely difficult ordeals.

Not content with responding to patients, Martin is also the co-ordinator for Bromyard CFRs and when he isn’t attending cardiac arrests, finds time to deliver CPR training within the local community as well.

CFR Volunteer of the Year – Jean Morgan (South Staffordshire)

This year’s CFR Volunteer of the Year began her journey an incredible 11 years ago when joining South Staffordshire CFRs.

As you can imagine, in that time, she has dedicated many hours to her scheme and the community in which she serves, responding to hundreds of patients across Codsall, Perton, Pattingham, Wombourne and surrounding areas.

Our winner is incredibly well known in the community and CFR world, and has now taken on the role of co-ordinator for the group, offering leadership and guidance skills to other responders who make up the rest of the team.

Such is her desire to help, she has taken those leadership skills further, and helped play a part in developing CFRs right across the West Midlands.

That is because a new national qualification has been introduced for CFRs in the last few years, known as FROS – First Responders on Scene. The qualification covers the principles of ambulance service first responder care and provides the knowledge and skills relating to scene safety and patient assessment, life-threatening emergencies, illnesses, medical conditions and injuries.

These are all areas tonight’s recipient has great experience in, so to put it to the best possible use, she has been an invaluable asset to the Trust’s education and training team, assisting with CFR FROS courses, where she was able to put her academic background to use once more.

Ill-health unfortunately means she is no longer an active CFR, but with her co-ordinating role at South Staffs and continued support to the training department, her contribution remains as vital and dedicated as ever.

Leave a Reply