Awards 2014

Ambulance Service Institute Awards 2014

The Ambulance Service Institute Award Ceremony for 2014 was held in the Cholmondeley Room and Terrace of the House of Lords on 8th May. The ASI President, Dr Peter Griffin, welcomed the Award winners, their guests and the Award Sponsors to the House of Lords.

He explained that the ASI’s normal host in the House of Lords, Baroness Browning, was unwell and could not attend, but Lord Ian McColl had stepped in at the very last minute. Peter explained that Lord McColl had had a very distinguished career as Professor of Surgery at Guys and St Thomas’s Hospitals as well as being a politician. Lord McColl has been a peer since 1989 and had served as Shadow Minister of Health for more than 10 years between 1997 and 2010.

After going through the necessary domestic instructions, Peter introduced Dr Anthony Marsh, Chief Executive Officer of both East of England Ambulance Service and West Midlands Ambulance Service and Chairman of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives. Dr Anthony Marsh has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Wolverhampton and was awarded the Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List. But his greatest claim to fame is winning the ASI Ambulance Service of the year Award 5 times. Peter asked Dr Marsh to say a few words about what it means to win an ASI Award.

Dr Marsh told the audience that the ASI Awards Ceremony is a great event with many ambulance staff receiving awards from the Ambulance Service Institute each year. Ambulance staff do a fantastic job day-in, day-out. and to see these staff get their awards and have members of their own family with them to share in that moment, is a really proud moment for them, for their families and of course, if they are WMAS Staff, for him as Chief Officer as well.

After thanking Dr Marsh for his kind words, Peter continued with the Awards Ceremony.

The first award was to one of ASI’s own, it was an upgrade of membership to Fellow for Carl Ledbury. Carl has been in the Ambulance Service since 1976. He was promoted to paramedic in 1987 and has held several senior management roles in West Midlands Ambulance Service, retiring in November 2013. He has been a member of the ASI Board for nearly 30 years and was ASI President in 2007 and 2008. His upgrade to Fellow was for his continuing work on the ASI Board.

The second award was a President’s Commendation for Long Service for Dennis Oakes of South Western Ambulance Service. Dennis commenced his ambulance career in 1963 for Worcestershire Ambulance Service. He moved to Somerset in the late 1960’s and, after a brief spell working back in the West Midlands, transferred to Dorset Ambulance Service. He eventually went to Avon Ambulance Service in June 1983. He is now semi-retired, but continues working two days a week.

The third Award was the Innovation Award, which was presented to East Midlands Ambulance Service for the use of USB ECG leads linked to Toughbook PCs to improve efficiency and governance and to reduce cost. This is the next step in moving from paper to electronic documents. Sturdy PCs (called Toughbooks) have enabled patient report forms to be completed and saved digitally. Now, by using USB Leads and suitably adapted equipment, ECGs, oxygen saturation and continuous pulse and BP monitoring can be added to the electronic record. This is not only more efficient, it is better for clinical governance and cheaper and lighter than the equipment it replaces. EMAS were represented by .Richard Henderson, Peter Mason and Lee Brentnall .

The fourth Award was the Control Room Award, which was won by Fiona Dinkel of Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Fiona has worked as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) since 2007 and has proved herself to be an outstanding EMD with an almost exemplary audit history. During her time as an EMD Fiona has dealt with several very traumatic calls and has demonstrated the highest standards of call-taking, offering the caller support and compassion in the most difficult of circumstances. Fiona loves her job and it really shows through her professionalism and dedication to each and every caller and through the support and care she demonstrates to her colleagues.

Unfortunately, Fiona was unable to attend and receive her award  because she was due to have a baby – to receive the Award on her behalf was Janet Pawelec.

The fifth Award was the First Aid/Community First Responder Award, which was awarded to Craig Singleton, a CFR with West Midlands Ambulance Service. Craig was nominated  concerning  an incident in Gnosall, involving an 18 month old child who had been attacked at home by the family dog – a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The dog had suddenly attacked the child and torn the right side of his face – his nose/cheek/lips were severely torn.  There was a hole in the child’s face, exposing the inside of his mouth and approximately 40 per cent of facial tissue was missing. Craig, as the local CFR was first on scene and commenced treating the child with oxygen before the ambulance arrived. The crew were impressed by Craig’s actions and his assistance at what was a very difficult situation and asked for him to be nominated for an award for his calm and swift actions at this incident.

The Sixth Award was the Private/Voluntary Ambulance Award, which was awarded to St John Ambulance, District 5, South East Region. Recently the South East of the United Kingdom was hit by two periods of severe weather – the “St Jude” storms in October and those occurring over the Christmas / New Year period.  Both resulted in the response of St John Ambulance volunteers to requests for support and to the declaration of weather-related Major Incidents.  Parts of Kent were particularly badly hit by flooding a combination of gale-force winds, tidal surges and river and groundwater flooding.  Volunteers in District 5 (geographically covering Kent and parts of East Sussex) were again heavily involved.

The main functions of St John Members were in providing immediate response through utilising 4×4 vehicles to provide transport, personnel to seek out and assess vulnerable people in their flooded buildings or residential homes and providing first aid cover and advice as part of the multi-agency teams in the three mobile police station trailers situated in villages. Many of the St John Members gave up their Christmas and New Year to help with these incidents. Representing St John Ambulance South East Region were Andrew McAllister, Kevin Bumstead, Mike Hobden, Phillip Le Masonry and Tom Stephens.

The seventh Award was the Patient transport Award, which was won by Alex Laston and Louise Ormsby of West Midlands Ambulance Service. Alex and Louise are a PTS crew working from University Hospital Birmingham who came across a nasty RTC involving a female pedestrian and a large goods vehicle in Moseley,Birmingham during November. Despite the horrific nature of the patient’s injuries, the crew remained calm and professional in rendering aid until a front line ambulance arrived, and then continued to provide first class assistance to the attending more senior clinicians.  The frontline crew on scene commented on how helpful and calm the PTS crew were, and have asked for their thanks and congratulations to be passed on

Alex Laston was unable to attend so Adam Layland received the award on his behalf.

The eighth Award was the Special Incident Award, which was won by the South East Coast Ambulance Service for the Sheppey Bridge Incident. This was the biggest road traffic accident in Kent’s history with more than 300 cars caught up in the early morning crash. Miraculously there were no fatalities although 35 were taken to hospital and 200 more shocked and walking wounded were treated at the scene by SECAmb’s clinicians. SECAmb deployed 30 vehicles to the incident on the fog-shrouded Sheppey Bridge and staff rose to the challenge magnificently.

SECAmb dispatched a full range of resources including Silver and Bronze officers, Paramedics, Technicians, Emergency Care Support Workers, Critical Care Paramedics, Paramedic Practitioners and the Hazardous Area Response Team to assist.

This Award was 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 James Brown,  who is the Managing Director.

SECAmb were represented by Michael Carter, Edward Cole, Brian Cumming, Jeannie Milburn, Louise Messen, Sue Orchard, Clare Rudd, Nicola Rumens, Craig Stoneman, John Bennett and Dr Duncan Bootland from Kent Air Ambulance.

The ninth Award was the Air Ambulance Award, which was awarded to Helimed 03 and Helimed 09 from Midlands Air Ambulance. The case was a 33 year old male worker trapped in a tunnel (3ft by 3ft and 20ft long) under a large (50ft by 20ft) potato sorting machine. He was stuck in a squatting position in this tunnel with his arm partly torn off by the rollers and he was bleeding quite profusely. Ian from HM09 crawled in to the tunnel and used pressure to stop the bleeding throughout the entire incident.  Other members of the ambulance service took turns in the tunnel to treat and reassure the patient.   It took 2.5 hours to release him as Staffordshire Fire and Rescue service had to get special help from West Midlands Fire Service to get the right cutting gear to cut through the rollers.

From a treatment point of view, whilst trapped the patient had oxygen, morphine, iv fluids to maintain brachial pulse, 2 units O neg blood.  The blood was provided by North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary (HM03 flew from scene to pick this up).  The patient also received adrenaline and calcium to optimise cardiovascular stability on release. This was a difficult and dangerous job demonstrating excellent team work and inter-service.working.

To collect the award was Kat Ellis and Ian Walley from Helimed 09 and Dr David Balthazar from Helimed 03.

The tenth Award was an award of Honorary Fellowship to Professor Ian Greaves. Professor Greaves was nominated for the Military Award, but the Awards Committee decided that an Award of Honorary Fellowship (ASI’s highest Award other than the Bravery Medal) was more appropriate.

Professor Greaves is the Professor of Emergency Medicine at James Cook University Hospital (Middlesbrough) where he heads up the Department of Academic Emergency Medicine and Pre-Hospital Care. For many years he has been the Defence Consultant Advisor in Emergency Medicine (Colonel – RAMC) which embraces pre-hospital care and amongst his responsibilities has been the Military MERT (Medical Emergency Response Team) which has played a crucial role in delivering life saving critical interventions to soldiers shot or blown up in Afghanistan prior to arrival in their hospital in Bastion. Professor Greaves got out of his sick bed to collect the Award.

The eleventh Award was also an award of Honorary fellowship to Professor Sir Keith Porter. Professor Porter nominated Professor Greaves for his award and the Awards Committee thought that Professor Porter should also receive Honorary Fellowship.

Professor Sir Keith Porter is Clinical Service Lead for Trauma Services at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB), one of the leading trauma centres in the UK. He leads a team of 10 military and civilian trauma consultants treating seriously injured patients at the QEHB. This includes all military patients evacuated from operational areas for treatment for trauma injuries. Professor Porter remains the UK’s only Professor of Clinical Traumatology and has been at the forefront of developing world-class treatment for injured military servicemen and women over the past 10+ years.

The twelfth Award was the Front Line Ambulance Award, awarded to Lance Corporal Malcolm Martindale of 225 (Scottish) Medical Regiment. LCpl Martindale is a support Teacher for teenage children, and also a reservist. He volunteered to deploy on operations to Afghanistan to provide vital front line ambulance medical support to deployed British Forces.

During his 6 months in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Lance Corporal Martindale deployed on operational patrols as the frontline mobile combat medical support and, most importantly, also formed part of the Ambulance Response Team. In these roles, often working independently, he played a vital part in the continuum of care; responsible for receiving, maintaining stabilisation and the transfer of patients to hospital care following their extraction from the immediate point of wounding. Punishing on the body both physically and mentally in addition to on board medical care in some cases he was also responsible for the movement of the deceased.

Since his return he has stepped up to deliver front-line Combat Medical Technician training to his peers providing valuable, and vivid, examples from his deployed experience. Lance Corporal Martindale has consistently demonstrated the highest standards, a proactive role model for front-line ambulance response. He inspires his peers.

The thirteenth Award was the Military Award, awarded to Sergeant Ryan Briggs of the RAF Tactical Medical Wing. Whilst deployed to Afghanistan, attached to 51 Squadron Resident Field Sqn, RAF Regiment, Sgt Briggs currently of Tactical Medical Wing, RAF Brize Norton, was involved in what is now known as the “Battle of Bastion”. Having returned from an extended patrol Sgt Briggs had just been stood down from Combat Medical Support duties, as the insurgent attack on Camp Bastion unfolded;

Sgt Briggs rapidly recognised that a significant event was developing. Without hesitation and recognising the potential for casualties, Sgt Briggs volunteered to become part of a small Quick Response Force that rapidly deployed forward within the Camp. With minimal medical equipment the team rapidly attended the incident on the airfield in a Ridgeback vehicle. Despite large uncontrolled fires nearby in the Base Fuel Installation and Liquid Oxygen Bay and a continuing assault close by with effective enemy fire, Sgt Briggs set up an aid station and received multiple casualties of varying injury.

During the next few hours whilst the assault continued and was eventually repelled, he provided prompt, expert treatment and arranged the transfer of the injured to the Role 3 Field Hospital. Without thought for his own safety, the selfless actions and speedy effective pre-hospital medical treatment carried out by Sgt Briggs undoubtedly saved life and limb of the responding combat troops, some of whom sustained significant injuries during this attack and subsequent events. A quiet, unobtrusive individual, Sgt Briggs’ actions have gone unrecognised elsewhere, but are worthy of acknowledgement by his peers.

This Award was 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 was represented by Phillip Pearson, the Chief Executive and Peter Hall, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

The Fourteenth Award was the Paramedic/Emergency Care Practitioner Award, which was awarded to Paul Gibson of East of England Ambulance Service. Paul is a Paramedic who works in Suffolk, out of Ipswich ambulance station, and has been working with the Trust for seven years.

On the evening of the 19th December 2013, fire and ambulance services were called to a flat in Ipswich following reports that a blaze had engulfed the property. Paul was the first member of the emergency services on scene and was initially told that there was no one in the flat.

Paul soon realised that this was not the case and that a woman was trapped inside the burning flat. He decided to enter the flat to help the patient.  He picked her up and got her out of the flat and started giving her respiratory support as her breathing had deteriorated.

Colleagues from the fire and rescue service then helped Paul take the patient to the waiting ambulance, where she was taken to Ipswich hospital. Paul went beyond the call of duty and his actions saved this woman’s life. His Trust is rightly very proud of him and the courageous actions that he took that night.

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 Mark Ellis, who is the UK Sales and Marketing Manager.

Unfortunately, Paul was unable to come and receive his award because he was having a well deserved holiday in the sun. However, his crew mate for that day – Belinda Jackson – received the award on his behalf.

The final (fifteenth) Award was the Public Spirited Award, which was awarded to George Reeder, Dock Master of Watchet Marina. On a freezing cold January morning a 6 month old baby was plunged in to the icy waters at Watchet Harbour when a gust of wind swept his buggy in to the water. Mr Reeder heard the mother screaming “My baby has gone in the water” and, in spite of the freezing cold, jumped in to the water to save him (still fully clothed and wearing his Wellington boots – but he did remember not to take his mobile phone!). The baby was face down under the buggy. The tide was going out and the buggy was being pulled out to sea by a strong current. Mr Reeder managed to turn the buggy over and drag it back to the Harbour Wall where other members of the public were able to pull the baby to safety. The baby was taken to hospital by air ambulance and has made a complete recovery.

After the Awards, Lord McColl was asked to say a few words. He said “It’s been a great joy for me to be here and to hear all the amazing things that you have done. It must have been absolutely horrendous; some of the situations you have had to deal with. We are just so grateful that you risk your lives to do all these wonderful things. Greater love hath no man who gives his life for another – or risks doing so.”

Rather than the usual flower arrangement that we give to Baroness Browning, John Newman, Immediate Past President, gave Lord McColl a bottle of single malt. Being a Glaswegian, Lord McColl felt that he could not refuse.

The Ceremony finished with enough time remaining to devour the remainder of the sandwiches and cakes and to do some networking.

The Ambulance Service Institute would like to thank the official photographer (Simon Hildrew) and the London Ambulance Service Ceremonial Squad (Ann Elliott, Helen Wigley and Andy Beasley)