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Ambulance staff, volunteers and public gather to celebrate achievements

2 March 2016

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS staff were joined by volunteers and members of the public at the first of the Trust’s annual awards ceremAwardsonies.

The ceremony, for the east of SECAmb’s region, was held on Thursday 25 February at The Orangery at Turkey Mill, Maidstone, Kent.

The event saw attendees recognised for long service and also receive Chief Executive Commendations across a range of categories including clinical excellence, patient care and for actions above and beyond the call of duty.

Members of the public were also recognised for their actions including Clea Saunders from Forest Row in East Sussex for her attempts to save the life of a work colleague.

Meanwhile, emotions ran high as a trio of public lifesavers were reunited for the first time with a Belgian man, whose life they saved at Bodiam Castle.

Janine Adams, from Orpington, Gregg White, an off-duty Met police officer from Crowborough and Bodiam Castle General Manager George Bailey, commenced CPR and used a defibrillator to save Mark Gheysen in August last year.

Mark, his wife Frieda and family made the trip back to the UK especially for the awards, much to the surprise of the three.

Mark said: “It’s been marvellous to see everyone and I really appreciate everything they and the ambulance team did for me. I’m doing well and feeling good. It was a lovely evening.”

The Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Lord Paul Condon, attended as the Queen’s representative to present Queen’s Medals for Long Service and Good Conduct, while Trust staff were also recognised for 20 years’ and 30 years’ NHS service. For the first time this year SECAmb’s Community First Responders, who had been in their role for 10 years, were also recognised for their dedication.

SECAmb Chief Executive Paul Sutton said: “It’s fantastic to celebrate the long service and outstanding achievements of our staff, volunteers and the superb actions of members of the public. The ambulance service can be a very intrusive career so I’d also like to pay tribute to everyone’s relatives and supporters back home. As ever these awards were extremely humbling and I am very proud of everyone’s hard work and dedication. I’d also like to thank Lord Condon for joining us in our celebrations.”


Details of every award winner can be found below – for further information on each award please see the awards booklet.

Chief Executive Commendations

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty – Emergency Care Support Workers Danielle Kelly and Sandy Martin, Ashford, Kent – For their use of initiative to ensure that much needed kit was swiftly winched down a shaft to a team working to save a man’s life.

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty – Paramedic Daniel Almond, Paddock Wood, Kent – for his resourcefulness and proactive approach to manage a potential escalating issue that the weather and Operation Stack was having on the Trust during a hot summer’s day last year.

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty – Paramedic, Kate Miles, Haywards Heath, West Sussex – for her efforts in risking her own safety to treat a patient on a conservatory roof so that a young man could be spared the trauma of carrying out CPR on his father.

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty – Community First Responder Neil Barnard, Tonbridge, Kent  - for his efforts in saving the life of a fellow passenger on an EasyJet flight returning to England from Hungary.

Clinical Excellence – Paramedic Practitioner Damien Hart, Paramedic Amanda Halliwell and Emergency Care Support Worker Barry Searle, Thanet, Kent – for their clinical skill and actions which, according to a vascular consultant, resulted in a patient surviving an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Clinical Excellence – Critical Care Paramedic Tom Strivens, Hastings, East Sussex (and Paramedic Practitioner Daniel Dodd, who will pick up his award at the Trust’s west awards ceremony) for their efforts in developing the Trust’s sepsis Code Yellow Pathway.

Clinical Excellence – Resource Dispatcher Nicola Bell, Coxheath, Kent, Emergency Care Support Worker Calan Weller, Ashford, Kent, Paramedic Louis Parsons, Paddock Wood, Kent and Clinical Team Leader John Children, Paddock Wood – for their clinical skills and teamwork in when responding to a patient found handing in a multi-storey car park.

Outstanding Patient Care – Technician Sarah Mitchell, Redhill – for the care and compassion provided to a patient in the last few hours of his life.

Outstanding Patient Care – NHS 111 Health Advisor and Coach – Ryan Pearse, Ashford – for his efforts in spending more than three hours in the phone to a man who was threatening to take his own life.

Leadership – Staffing Centre Manager, Steve Bingham, Ashford, Kent – for his efforts in setting up lessons to support staff looking to train further to become future paramedics.

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