Ambulance Service Institute Annual Awards 2011
The Ambulance Service Institute (ASI) Annual Awards Ceremony for 2011 was held in the Cholmondeley Room and Terrace of the House of Lords on the afternoon of Wednesday 9th November. The ASI President, John Newman commenced proceedings by welcoming the prizewinners, Award sponsors and their guests and our House of Lords host, Baroness Browning. This was the twelfth time that the Awards Ceremony has been held at the prestigious Palace of Westminster, and the second 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 LewisLive for all the work they had put in to organising the event.
John told the assembled crowd of about 100 people that Award nominations this year were of an exceptionally high standard. The Awards Panel had great difficulty picking the best, ending up with 14 Awards, including, for the first time, an International Award.
Peter Griffin then took over in his role as compère for the rest of the Awards.
This year the seating format was changed to a combination of theatre seating at the front and cabaret seating at tables at the back. Award winners were escorted to the front by John Huggins from the London Ambulance Service in full ceremonial uniform. Television cameras were present from ITV Wales, who are doing a documentary on the Welsh Air Ambulance.
Alan Medcraft, the Ambulance Service Institute Company Secretary and Past President was asked to demonstrate the Award giving process, being escorted from the Cholmondeley Room to the Awards area in the Terrace. He was then surprised by being awarded his Fellowship of the Institute for outstanding service, especially in promoting ASI in Hong Kong, Nigeria and the Philippines.
The first Award was the Air Ambulance Team Award which was to both the Welsh Air Ambulance and RAF Rescue 169 from RAF Chivenor. The Wales Air Ambulance crew consisted of paramedic Phil Thomas and Capt Grant Elgar (who won the Award last year) and paramedic Aneurin Heath. The RAF team were Sqn Ldr Olly Padbury, Flt Lt John Hill, MAcr Tim Race and Sgt Ryan Thomas. This was for a sortie on 7th November 2010 when a climber fell from the cliffs at Rest Bay, Porthcawl. He had spine, pelvic and leg fractures and the tide was coming in fast. Aneurin Heath had to work while up to his chest in the sea, protecting the casualty from the waves. RAF Rescue 169 winched the casualty, his girlfriend and Aneurin Heath to the top of the cliffs. This sortie showed high levels of skill and cooperation from two separate services.
Ambulance Care Assistant of the Year Award was awarded to James Mitchell (Scottish Ambulance Service NHS Trust) for an excellent letter of praise from a patient he has regularly been transporting for the last twenty years. It praised James for his patience and consideration.
Control Room Ward was awarded to Glennis Bentley of West Midlands Ambulance Service. This was for a two car crash on 5th June. Glennis received high praise from a Clinical Team Mentor who said “Glennis Bentley dealt with this case professionally. How she managed to keep on top of all the communications is beyond me. But most importantly I wish to thank Glennis for her support of my crew. She would not allow us off the major incident channel even after we had handed over as she wished to keep in touch with us and ensure we were ok. To have someone willing to do that, with the case still going on was exceptional.”
First Aid/Community First Responder Award was awarded to Tabatha McElligot and Steve Hookley. Tabatha had a cardiac arrest in 2009 due to an inherited heart condition. Her life was saved by a Community First Responder. This event spurred Tabatha to become a Community First Responder herself. She is a young person who has trained to be a CFR and now attends calls on behalf of the Trust. She also has helped the Trust and the British Heart Foundation continue developing their partnership working and has attended filming sessions and gone to MPs in her own time to promote basic life support and defibrillation. She is an amazing young lady and a credit to her local community. The CFR coordinator that she works with is Steve Hookley, who saved her life in 2009. Steve puts in about 14 hours/day coordinating two CFR Groups, training and assessing new recruits
Innovations Award which was sponsored by Deflexion Limited who were represented by Managing Director, Mark Griffin. This was awarded to West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust Performance Cell. This brings together Business Intelligence Developers, Informatics and Operational Managers. This allows data driven decisions that can be tested before they are fully developed to benefit patients. Service Delivery Managers now have the confidence to move forward with new plans that not only improve care for patients but also maximise efficiency.
Paramedic/Emergency Care Practitioner of the Year Award was awarded to Andy Gibson (East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust) for a call in February. Andy arrived at a property that was on fire. He established that someone was still inside, so he broke down the door and crawled in to the smoke filled building. He was able to pull out the casualty by his ankles. Both Andy and the patient needed hospital treatment for smoke inhalation and minor burns, and both have made a full recovery.
Public Spirited Award which was sponsored by St John Ambulance (National Headquaters) who were represented by Chris Reed. The award was made to Nathan Morris, a very confident eight year old who had been able to give accurate information and answer all the questions from the Ambulance Service when his mother was having a fit. Because Nathan gave such accurate information, the ambulance crew were able to get to his home very quickly. As well as his award, Nathan was also given a toy ambulance.
Halfway through the proceedings, Baroness Browning gave an address. She said that she had noticed a theme to the awards already. Even though we were hearing stories of people braving fire, thick smoke and working chest deep in the sea with a rapidly incoming tide, the response from these individuals was “I was just doing my job” or “it is all in a day’s work”. This modesty by very brave people is very humbling. The Baroness considered it an honour to be able to recognise these brave events and hoped that the award winners and everyone who did things above and beyond the call of duty got full recognition for their actions.
After the Baroness’s address the Awards continued with the Special Incident Award which was awarded to the HART Team of West Midlands Ambulance Service. This was for one day in 2010 when the team dealt with three calls in succession. The first was to someone who had fallen in to an aqueduct. The exact location of the patient was unknown, so the HART team had to abseil down the aqueduct and use their search skills to find him. Having treated his pain and immobilised him on a spinal board, they then had to arrange a system of ropes to haul him to the top of the aqueduct and carry him a further 500 yards to the roadway. Before they could return to base they received another call to a man with his legs trapped under debris from a collapsed ceiling. And finally they had to deal with a car that had crashed into a house. The car had gone right through the wall of the house and trapped someone against the wall of the kitchen. The car driver was also trapped. Having completed all three jobs, they were able to return to base for a well earned cup of tea.
Ambulance Technician of the Year Award which was sponsored by AMAS on-line Technician Training who were represented by Trevor Pierce. This was awarded to Kym Lawson (West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust). She had the difficult problem of a diabetic patient with numerous complications who needed hospital admission who was reluctant to go to hospital until her 40 year old son with severe learning difficulties was cared for. Kym developed a good rapport with the son by playing games with him during the three hours she had to wait for social services to find a placement. She accompanied him to the social services home and then went to the hospital to reassure mum that her son was OK.
NHS Ambulance Service of the Year Award which was sponsored by Airwave Solutions Limited who were represented by Dominic Robertson. This award was won by West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust. As usual, there was very close competition between WMAS and South Western Ambulance Service. Both these Services being the only services in the country to achieve the 2010 National Performance Targets. However, WMAS crept ahead in the first quarter of 2011 by being the only ambulance service to achieve all four of the new National targets. In addition they responded to 805,000 emergency and urgent incidents, exceeding 800,000 for the first time.
Voluntary Ambulance Service Person or Team of the Year Award was awarded to Katie Clark, Harlow Nursing Cadet Division of St John Ambulance. Katie was called to a choking incident at her work. She performed CPR in a very confined space for 15 minutes until the NHS Ambulance arrived. She the comforted the patients relatives while two ambulance crews and an ambulance helicopter doctor worked on the patient.
Military Award (Individual or Team) was sponsored by the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management who were represented by their Chief Executive, Brian Nimick. This was awarded to Operation Herrick 14 (April to October 2011) Ambulance Response Troop of Close Support Medical Regiment consisting of Sargent Matt Weites, Medical Assistant Brian Playfair, SAC Chelsea Wharton, Medical Assistant Serena Bennett, Medical Assistant Nichols, Musician Christ Lambert and Bugler Dave Birt. During their operational tour in Afghanistan, this team of young Royal Service medics (Navy, RAF and Army) and Royal Marine Band drivers have distinguished themselves with their professionalism and dedication to the job in what can only be described as extraordinary conditions. In this relatively short period of time, the transfer of casualties from the Camp Bastion Helicopter Landing Site to the Hospital trauma facility has seen the ART treat several hundred casualties. Including frequent multiple amputations. They also perform the recovery of those Killed in Action and the most unpleasant task of retrieving body parts.
International Award: This was awarded jointly to the Lagos State Government and the directors of the Deux Project in Nigeria for their work towards a better, healthier Nigeria. As a result of their work, the hospital infrastructure in Lagos has been improved tremendously and in some cases new buildings have been built. They have introduced a major training programme for both hospital staff and pre-hospital care, especially in the area of resuscitation.
They have moved from a very basic ambulance service to having several intensive care ambulances, two mobile dental units and a fully equipped mobile operating theatre for major incidents. There is also a Mission Hospital that provides free medical treatment for the General Public
In addition Lagos State Government has adopted the policy of free emergency treatment for everybody. These people have actually used their own money to make all these projects a success.
Unfortunately, due to flight difficulties, the Nigerian Party were unable to attend the awards ceremony and Allan Medcraft accepted the award on their behalf.
President’s Special Service Award. The ‘President’s Special Service Award’ is not a normal part of the Institutes Annual Awards competition. But it can be presented at the sole discretion of the President for any act “Above and beyond the call of duty”. This year the president, John Newman has decided to make a Special Service Award to Mike Lavelle of the West Midlands Ambulance Service. If you remember back to the Control Room Award and the two car road traffic crash with four fatalities on 5th June 2011. Mike Lavelle, who is normally a member of the HART Team, was honing his paramedic skills in the response car at the time, and just happened to be near the scene when he received the call. He was the first professional emergency response on scene. One car was already on fire when Mike arrived. In spite of the flames, he was able to pull a young female casualty out of the car and then dragging her to a safe distance from the flames. At this point, the car on fire exploded. Mike needed hospital treatment for smoke inhalation after the event.
After the Awards were completed, Baroness Browning made herself available for informal family photographs while the tea and refreshments were quickly devoured.
Photographs and more information is available from Teresa Crockett at LewisLive. Please acknowledge the official photographer (Simon Hildrew) and the Ambulance Service Institute.