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 ceremonies.

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

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

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

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

Chief Executive

Above and Beyond the Call of
– 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
– Paramedic Daniel Almond, Paddock
, 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
– Paramedic, Kate Miles, Haywards Heath, West
– 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
– 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,
– 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
(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,
Paramedic Louis Parsons, Paddock Wood,
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

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.