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Public and staff recognised at ambulance service awards

Press release - 26 October 2010

A member of the public who used his 4x4 vehicle to ferry ambulance staff to and from work during the severe weather earlier this year has received a Chief Executive’s Commendation for his efforts.

Andy Trimmer from Guildford joined ambulance staff at South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s, (SECAmb) annual awards ceremony for the west of its region at the Felbridge Hotel in East Grinstead on Thursday 21 September.

Andy was nominated by Clinical Operations Manager from Haslemere Ambulance Station Claire Horsfield. Andy approached SECAmb to offer his services when the region was hit by heavy snow and freezing temperatures earlier this year.

He worked tirelessly picking up staff from their homes and returning them afterwards and was one of a number of members of the public and local organisations that helped SECAmb maintain a safe and responsive service.

Claire said: “It’s great that we’ve been able to say thank you to Andy with this commendation. His efforts at what was an extremely challenging time for us were amazing. He travelled a huge number of miles to help us and despite endless lists of people he just kept bringing them in.”

Andy said: “I was very shocked but delighted to receive the award. I feel very privilege and honoured that the actions of myself and others like me have been appreciated by the Trust in this way. We are hoping that should similar bad weather affect the service in future we can encourage more owners of 4x4s and other clubs to provide assistance. It’s vital that the emergency services are able to continue to help those who need it most and if we can help in some way, then that’s great.”

Staff Chief Executive Commendations were awarded to Paramedic Stuart Aslett, from Farnborough Ambulance Station, Technicians Harri Carter and Rebecca Molden, from Chertsey Ambulance Station, Debbie Clarke, based in Lewes Emergency Dispatch Centre, Clinical Team Leader Martin Hill from Midhurst Ambulance Station, and PA to the Director of Operations, Sue Lavender, based at Surrey HQ in Banstead. (See below for further details).

Three members of staff were nominated in the Employee of the Year category with the award going to Patient Transport Service (PTS) Team Leader and Acting PTS Manager, Paul Manning from Horsham Station. (See below for more info).

Long service awards were presented to staff who have served within the ambulance service or wider NHS for 20, 30 and 40 years. Queen’s Medals for long service and good conduct were also presented by the Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex, Mrs Susan Pyper, to staff that have completed 20 years service in a front-line capacity.

20 year long service award winner Sandra Mayle from Haslemere Station was also recognised by Surrey Police for her involvement in ‘Safe Drive, Stay Alive’ – an initiative aimed at reducing car accidents among newly-qualified young drivers.

PC Martyn Williamson, from Surrey Police’s Central Neighbourhoods Team said: “Sandy has really made a difference. She is a consummate professional and a credit to SECAmb.”

SECAmb Chief Executive Paul Sutton said: “Our awards provide us with a valuable opportunity to recognise the tremendous achievements of our staff during the year, in a range of roles throughout the organisation. Our staff are without doubt, this organisation’s greatest asset. They work extremely hard in often difficult circumstances to provide the very best levels of care to our patients.

“I am also delighted that our awards provide us with an opportunity to recognise members of the public who have gone out of their way to support our staff and provide valuable assistance when needed. I know that I speak on behalf of all staff who are tremendously grateful for the help received at the scene of a difficult incident.”

Chief Executive’s Commendations were awarded to:

Stuart Aslett, Farnborough Ambulance Station

Stuart was called to attend a patient who showed extreme violence towards himself and two police officers on scene. Showing no regard for his own safety, he assisted the police in attempting to restrain the patient, despite a violent fight ensuing. The police officers have commended Stuart and cannot thank him enough for his actions.

Harri Carter and Rebecca Molden, Chertsey Ambulance Station

Harri and Rebecca were called to an address in Guildford, which turned out to be an extremely dangerous and unstable situation, involving a mother and her young daughter, who had allegedly been wounded by an armed man on scene. Despite the obvious personal dangers to themselves they both dealt with the situation bravely and professionally, ensuring the patients received the care they needed.

Debbie Clark, Lewes Emergency Dispatch Centre

Debbie is a wonderful mentor to new staff and really supports them. An all-round asset to the control centre, she is also always keen to develop and push herself to learn news skills.

Martin Hill, Clinical Team Leader Midhurst ambulance station.

Martin was first on scene at a road traffic collision in December 2008 when 14-year-old Simone Hurley was hit by a car as she was crossing the road with a friend. Simone’s mum Julia has described Martin as ‘absolutely wonderful’. Not only did he save her daughter’s life in her opinion, he has also inspired Simone to follow a career as a paramedic.

Sue Lavender, PA to Director of Operations, Headquaters, Banstead

During the three periods of severe weather during December 2009 and January 2010, Sue went beyond the call of duty, providing excellent and much-needed support to the Operations team managing how the Trust responded in the challenging conditions. Not only did she remain on site until 10pm on many occasions but she also supported conference calls seven days a week, covering an 18 hour day on one occasion.

Employee of the Year - Winner

Paul Manning, PTS Team Leader and Acting PTS Manager, Horsham Ambulance Station

Paul is not only extremely popular with staff in his own team but also throughout the Trust. Despite the challenges he faces, he is always up-beat and positive and the perfect role model. As an enthusiastic member of the Trust’s Foundation Council, he is able to take a wider view across the Trust and is a great communicator.

Employee of the Year finalists:

Chrissi White, Clinical Team Leader, Chichester Ambulance Station:

Chrissi is extremely well thought of by many of her colleagues and has really embraced her role of Clinical Team Leader, further developing her skills and showing great support to both her team and other colleagues. Her clinical skills and the care she shows to patients are especially appreciated by patients and their families.

Dave Wakeford, Emergency Care Support Worker, Tongham Ambulance Station:

Dave’s unassuming character belies his level of commitment and dedication to the Trust and patients. He is well thought of and respected by his colleagues and can be summed up as the kind of person who, put simply, will not let you down.

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