Dedicated Brighton ambulance staff and volunteers among award winners
A virtual awards ceremony was held for South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) staff and volunteers to recognise long service and achievements.
The event was arranged after SECAmb had to postpone two of its annual awards ceremonies in March 2020 due to COVID-19. Staff were given the choice to attend the virtual event or attend a future traditional ceremony when possible.
The Lord Lieutenants of East Sussex and Surrey, Sir Peter Field and Michael More-Molyneux attended to recognise and congratulate staff receiving Queen’s Medals for Long Service and Good Conduct. The High Sherriff of Surrey, Shahid Azeem, was also in attendance. Staff and volunteers also picked up long service awards for 10, 20, 30 and an amazing 40 years’ NHS service.
Among those given the Queen’s Ambulance Service medal for long service and good conduct (20 years) were five Brighton-based members of staff. They were Gerry Davis, a critical care paramedic; Kelly Lucas, paramedic; Anna May, advanced ambulance technician; Sheena Moloney, paramedic; and Simon Ticehurst, paramedic practitioner.
Staff also received chief executive commendations for their achievements and Brighton paramedic and operational team leader, Amy Brooker, was one of the winners.
Amy was recognised for the support she provided to a newly-qualified paramedic struggling following a relocation from another ambulance service. With Amy’s help, Dale Renno got the help he needed and was referred to the trust’s wellbeing hub. Amy continued to be on hand to offer one-to-one support whenever it was needed.
Dale, who nominated Amy, said: "It was really difficult for me but Amy listened and from then on things began to change. Not only did Amy listen to my concerns but she acted on them, working with me to provide solutions. Months on, I have made a great recovery."
Brighton Community First Responder, Dan May-Jones, also received a commendation. His was for his dedication to his role and in particular for the crucial part he played in a successful resuscitation of a man in Brighton in 2019 after being alerted to the incident via the Good Sam phone app.
Operating unit manager, Tim Fellows, nominated Dan and explained how he was on the scene within minutes and ensured the patient was receiving vital chest compressions and being shocked with a defibrillator. Tim added: "Dan is totally committed to his role as a CFR. This particular incident epitomises everything we aim to do – and Dan played such an important part."
SECAmb’s employee of the year award this year went to ambulance technician, Steve McIntosh. Steve has served the Brighton area for some 25 years and undertakes a wide range of extra-curricular roles. He plays a vital role in promoting the importance of staff welfare through his work as the local representative for The Ambulance Service Charity (TASC), which fundraises to help staff facing difficult times get the support they need.
Celebrating 40 years was Worthing-based paramedic Chris Williams. Chris’s four decades with the ambulance service include attending numerous note-worthy incidents including being one of the first ambulance personnel in attendance at the Brighton bombing in 1984 and being part of the UK’s emergency response to Ebola in Sierra Leone in 2014.
Team of the Year went to the Trust’s Mental Health Team - Gary Davies-Ebsworth, Steve Norman and Cheryl Campling – for their dedication to improving mental health support to both patients and staff and their work to introduce mental health professionals in the Trust’s 999 Emergency Operations Centres.
SECAmb chief executive Philip Astle said: “I am really pleased that we have been able to recognise some of the staff who were unable to receive their awards in March last year. I am always extremely humbled by the dedication of the decades of service we mark and incredibly proud of the special achievements of our commendation winners. These achievements are just a small selection of the amazing work which goes on day-in, day-out across our region.
“This year has been particularly challenging for staff and it is vital that we continue to recognise the commitment shown to their communities and each other. I would also take this opportunity to thank all staff, whatever their role and length of service, for commitment they show and the work they do to serve patients across our region.”