Awards 2012

Ambulance Service Institute Annual Awards 2012

The Ambulance Service Institute (ASI) Annual Awards Ceremony for 2012 was held in the Cholmondeley Room and Terrace of the House of Lords on the afternoon of Tuesday 13th November. The ASI President, John Newman commenced proceedings by welcoming the prize-winners, Award sponsors and their guests and our House of Lords host, Baroness Browning. This was the thirteenth time that the Awards Ceremony has been held at the prestigious Palace of Westminster, and the third occasion that it has been at the Peers end of the House. John thanked the sponsors, without whose help the Awards Ceremony would not be possible. He also thanked the ASI Board and Teresa Crockett of LiveGroup for all the work they had put in to organising the event. He then asked for a one minute silence as a mark of respect for some recently deceased Ambulance people, including Peter Kendall – Ambulance Adviser who was seconded to the National Ambulance Resilience Unit (NARU) and who was based at the Department of Health’s Emergency Preparedness Division in London for the past four and half years (died on 26th October age 63) and Derek Fenton, who had been an active member of St John Ambulance for more than 70 years, rising from Cadet to Commander of London District (died on 2nd November age 91).

Dr Peter Griffin then took over in his role as compère for the rest of the Awards Ceremony. Peter has been chairman of the ASI Awards Panel and compère of the Awards Ceremony for the last 10 years (since 2002).

The first Award was the Voluntary Ambulance Service Award, awarded to St. John Ambulance London Medical Logistics Unit for the London Marathon. This 15 person team works all year cleaning and repairing equipment for various big events. The Marathon is particularly busy. They have to prepare equipment for 1400 members across 55 treatment centres and 33 ambulances. This requires about 1200 hours of work in the few days before and just after the Marathon. This year St. John Ambulance volunteer first aiders, nurses, paramedics and doctors treated 4923 casualties and conveyed 60 to hospital.

The second Award was the Private Ambulance Service Award, awarded to Thames Ambulance Service. Thames Ambulance Service was formed in 1996 with just one ambulance to assist in non – urgent patient transportation. Since then Thames has gone from strength to strength and now boasts a fleet of over 90 vehicles. During the last twelve months Thames has made considerable progress in all areas, but particularly in Quality, including CQC registration without conditions, ISO 9001-2008, and Investors in People Bronze Status. They have also invested considerably in staff training, Patient Privacy Notices, infection prevention and control, learning from incidents and environmental improvements to its fleet of vehicles.

The third Award was the NHS Ambulance Service of the Year Award, awarded to West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust. WMAS NHS Trust was formed in 2006. It has won the ASI NHS Ambulance Service of the Year Award in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and now 2012. In 2010 it won NHS Ambulance Service of the year in the Health Service Journal Healthcare 100 Awards. As usual, the nomination was of an extremely high standard, and would have won “Nomination of the Year” if we had one! WMAS has not only achieved, but in many cases considerably exceeded the National Targets for call answering and response times.

[The picture shows  (L-R) Toney Yeaman (Vice Chair), Jacynth Gillespie (Non-Executive), Anthony Marsh (Chief Executive) and Baroness Browning]

The fourth Award was the Innovations Award, awarded to South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust for a trial of tranexamic acid (TXA). In December last year, in partnership with the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for the South West Peninsula (PenCLAHRC), the SWASFT was the first ambulance service in the country to introduce TXA on all of its vehicles. TXA is a drug commonly used in operating theatres and in trauma incidents in the armed forces. The drug inhibits the breaking down of blood clots, a process which can worsen bleeding in situations such as major trauma. The internationally recognised CRASH study demonstrated that, if used within three hours of the accident, TXA can reduce the risk of death from bleeding by as much as 30 per cent. The drug will undoubtedly save many lives across the South West each year and has the major advantage of being cheap (just over £3 for an adult dose).

The fifth Award was the Control Room Award, awarded to South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust for an incident on the M5 near Taunton in November 2011. The crash involved 34 vehicles including cars, vans and articulated lorries, and a large fireball ensued. Seven people were killed and 51 others were seriously injured. SWASFT sent a total of 42 vehicles and 60 personnel to the incident, the first arriving with 4 minutes of the first emergency call. The casualties were taken to 3 different hospitals. A specialist surgeon was flown in by helicopter to help manage patients with multiple injuries. The whole incident was successfully managed by ambulance officers, as well as within the Clinical Hub at the SWASFT’s Headquarters in Exeter, Devon. Coupled with this was managing the usual demands of a Friday evening’s activity, along with another incident nearby in Bridgwater involving the collapse of a wall.

The sixth Award was the Care Assistant/Patient Transport of the Year Award, awarded to Nigel Cox and Patrick Lynch of West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust. This was for an incident in April 2012, when a car crashed into the Main Entrance of Good Hope Hospital, seriously injuring a member of the public. Nigel and Patrick were first on scene and did an excellent job in organising more expert help and assisting in the treatment of both the car driver and member of the public. They probably saved the life of the seriously injured member of the public by controlling significant bleeding, maintaining the airway and supporting the neck.

The seventh Award was the Ambulance Technician of the Year Award, awarded to Steve Marsland of West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust. This award was sponsored by Simply Italian, a family owned group of restaurants in Sussex and Kent. Unfortunately the owners, Gennaro and Marco Venditto, were not able to attend the Awards Ceremony. The Award was for a cardiac arrest 6 metres up scaffolding that Steve responded to as a solo responder. Steve had to climb a ladder and administer CPR on a narrow plank about 20 feet above the ground. Steve continued CPR for a considerable period of time, until further help arrived. Finally, an output was achieved and, with the assistance of the Fire Brigade and the builders on site, the patient was lowered to the ground and taken to hospital.

The eighth Award was the Paramedic/Emergency Care Practitioner of the Year Award, awarded to Lincoln Dodd of West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust. This Award was sponsored by Intersurgical UK, who are manufacturers and providers of the most comprehensive range of respiratory products offering customers quality, innovation and choice. Intersurgical was represented by their UK Sales and Marketing Manager, Mark Ellis. The Award was for an incident in September 2011 when Lincoln rescued two people from a house fire. The whole of the downstairs of the house was on fire and the couple were trapped by an upstairs window. Lincoln persuaded the two people to use him as a ladder to enable them to climb down from the first floor window (this is not as silly as it sounds if you see how big Lincoln is in the photo below). To enable him to do this, Lincoln had to stand right next to the downstairs window with the fire raging on the other side only inches in front of him.

The ninth Award was the Air Ambulance Team of the Year Award, awarded to Midlands Air Ambulance. This Award was sponsored by Prometheus Medical Limited, a leading supplier of pre-hospital emergency medical equipment and high-quality medical training courses for a wide audience; from the layperson through to the healthcare professional. Unfortunately, Prometheus were unable to send a representative to the Awards Ceremony. This Award was for an incident in the small village of Lucton on Valentine’s Day 2012, when there was a collision between a tractor and a car. Initially Helimed 03 (HM03) was sent from Cosford, but, as more information was received about three seriously injured casualties, HM06 was also sent from Strensham, followed only slightly later by HM09. The three crews had their skills stretched to the limit dealing with three very seriously injured casualties (two of them being young children). They even had to make a temporary bed out of blankets to enable them to continue working on the patients. Due to the large distance and extended run time that driving the patients to appropriate hospitals would incur all three Midlands Air Ambulances were utilised in transporting and carrying on extended treatments during transit of all three patients. Midlands Air Ambulance is the only Air Ambulance Service in the UK big enough to commit 3 fully staffed and equipped helicopters at the same time.

[The picture shows (L-R) Dr Nick Crombie (Cosford), Paramedic Greg Ambler (Strensham), Paramedic Ian Roberts (Strensham), Capt Mark Dennis (Strensham Pilot), Paramedic Claire Brooks (Tattenhill), Baroness Browning, Paramedic Stef Cormack (Cosford), Paramedic Faye Mason (Tattenhill), Katie Howse (Air Desk in Emergency Operations Centre at Brierley Hill)]

The tenth Award was the First Aid/Community First Responder Award, awarded to HMS Astute First Aid Team. This Award is sponsored by Cardiac Science, a global leader in the development, manufacture, and marketing of diagnostic and therapeutic cardiology products and services and they were represented by their Area Sales Manager, Julie Phillips. The HMS Astute First Aid Team consists of LMA Cooper Richards, LLogs (Steward) Stephen Espie, LLogs (Chef) Steven Baillie, LLogs (Chef) BOB Marley and Logs (Steward) Alan Waterston, and they received the award for an incident in April 2011, when an Able Seaman opened fire in the submarine’s control room, hitting two officers, before being overpowered. LMA Richards, assisted by LLogs Marley treated one officer with a very serious head wound and LLogs Espie led the rest of the team treated the other casualty. Both teams were faced with traumatic scenes and were called upon to use their skills under great stress. They were operating at the very limits of their training and, through strong leadership, good team work and exceptional fist aid skills they did an excellent job. In his report, the Commanding Officer said: “The First Aid Team in HMS Astute that day dealt with a most unexpected and unusual event and their sense of duty and commitment are in the very best traditions of the Royal Navy. Their actions totally exceeded their level of training and deserve the highest recognition.”

The eleventh Award was the Special Incident Award, awarded to Dr James Hickman of SAVES (Somerset Accident Voluntary Emergency Service). This Award is sponsored by W H Bence (Coachworks) Ltd, who build specialist vehicles for medical and emergency services use as well as vehicle logistics, maintenance and repair, and they were represented by their Managing Director James Brown. This is for the same major accident on the M5 in November 2011 as the Control Room Award. If you remember, we are talking about 34 vehicles, 7 people killed and 51 others seriously injured. Dr Hickman was called by South Western Ambulance Service control and took the role of Medical Incident Officer. Dr Hickman succeeded in bringing order to a chaotic and hazardous situation. He took control setting up a command structure, established communications with the other frontline service commanders and with the receiving hospitals. He created successful casualty triage, treatment and transport systems which ensured all casualties were tracked and arrived expected to their respective destinations. Dr Hickman received the call at 20:26 and arrived on scene at 20:40. He did not stand down until 01:20, nearly five hours later.

It should be noted that Dr Hickman responds as a BASICS (British Association for Immediate Care) Doctor. His local scheme, SAVES, forms part of BASICS South West. As well as responding to emergency calls, he also runs his local and regional BASICS group of Doctors. BASICS is a charity and all the members are volunteers, receiving no payment for the life saving work that they do. They even have to pay for their own petrol and medical equipment.

The twelfth Award is the Military Award, awarded to LMA Christopher Jones of Op Herrick 14 Joint Force Medical Group. This Award is sponsored by the International Institute for Risk and Safety Management which is a professional membership body that provides recognition, information, support and enhancement for health and safety professionals and specialist members related to the health and safety field. IIRSM is represented today by Brian Nimick, the Chief Executive and Peter Hall, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors. This Award is for an incident that happened in Afghanistan in May 2011. LMA Jones was patrolling with a multiple of Royal Marines when they heard an explosion close by to where a fellow patrol was operating.  Communications identified that there were multiple casualties and his patrol was closest to the scene to assist.  Almost immediately a second explosion was heard nearby when another Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was initiated.  LMA Jones was required to run across approximately 400m of open and potentially IED seeded ground to reach the scene of the initial explosion (in temperatures of 43°C).  LMA Jones had to assess and treat several very seriously injured casualties (one of whom was a fellow Medic and close personal friend). LMA Jones carried out excellent triage and used his fellow marines to continue some basic techniques to keep the casualties alive until the medivac helicopter arrived. Throughout this event, the whole area was still highly volatile and the risk from secondary explosive devices loomed large and further attacks from insurgents was assessed as high.

The last (thirteenth) Award was the Public Spirited Award, awarded (posthumously) to Plamen Petkov. This is the first time that ASI has made a posthumous award. At West Wittering beach, East Sussex, on Saturday, May 26 2012 at around noon, a girl was being carried out to sea on an inflatable. Mr Petkov dived into the sea without a second thought when he heard the girl’s mother shouting for help after her daughter got into difficulty on the inflatable. When Mr Petkov reached the child she jumped from the inflatable into his arms and he managed to pass the child to another rescuer. Mr Petkov by this point was exhausted and was dragged under the water. The woman rescuer took the child to shore while Mr Petkov’s friend brought him to the shore unconscious. Several people tried to resuscitate him until help arrived but sadly they were unable to save him. To receive the Award on behalf of this very brave man we had his mother Antoaneta Petkova. When Mrs Petkova came forward to receive the Award for Plamen, everyone spontaneously stood as a mark of respect.

After the last Award, Baroness Browning was asked to comment on her reaction to the Awards Ceremony this year. She said that she thought the standard of the events leading to the Awards was very high. A very common theme was teamwork, with many award winners making light of their outstanding contributions with comments like “I was only part of a Team” or “It was all teamwork”. She praised all the Award winners for their actions and looked forward to next year. Following the Baroness’s address she received a bouquet of flowers from the ASI President, John Newman

After the Ceremony there was time for informal photographs with the Baroness in the Cholmondeley Room.

ASI would like to thank Terry Longhurst and Trevor Taylor from the London Ambulance Service Ceremonial Squad.

Photographs and more information are available from Teresa Crockett at LiveGroup. Please acknowledge the official photographer (Simon Hildrew) and the Ambulance Service Institute.