Six employees at North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) have received The Queen’s Medal, the highest recognition for frontline emergency care employees, at an awards ceremony.
The Queen’s Medal honours ambulance personnel who have shown dedication to their roles at an NHS Ambulance Service.
Recipients of the Queen’s Medal have been in front line emergency care services for more than 20 years, or seven years in frontline emergency care and 13 years in emergency care management. The employees have also demonstrated good conduct throughout their career.
Her Majesty’s representative the Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear, Mrs Susan Margaret Winfield OBE DL presented The Queen’s Medal to the six frontline employees.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mrs Winfield said:
“I am extremely proud of all who have received the Queen’s Medal today, to give them the recognition they deserve for their invaluable service to the community. The North East Ambulance Service is fortunate to have so many skilled people whose work is greatly benefitting society.”
The Queen’s Medal, which was issued under Royal Warrant in July 1995 was awarded to frontline respondents Martin Fletcher, Steve Roebuck, David Vaughan, Michael Vockings, Jane Wade and Mark Wells who have a combined service of over 100 years for the organisation.
Chief Executive, Yvonne Ormston said:
“I am extremely proud of all of the long serving employees at the Trust and have huge respect for all who have received this award. On behalf of myself and all at the Trust, we thank them for doing the job they do. Our employees aim to make a difference day in and day out and The Queen’s Medal awards show they do just that.
“Frontline staff deal with very difficult situations on a daily basis and show the upmost compassion for all patients that they treat. It has been a great opportunity to acknowledge the quality of care they provide to our patients. They all go above and beyond the call of duty in their roles, striving for excellence and innovation and enabling us to deliver our mission to provide safe, effective and responsive care for all.”
NEAS has developed from strength to strength since becoming a Foundation Trust in 2011, employing more than 2,500 staff and the Queen’s Medal is an honourable way of thanking front line employees for their long service.
Mark Wells began his career with the ambulance service in 1996 and has progressed his career as an advanced practitioner with NEAS.
“I am extremely proud of my role within NEAS and regularly represent the service at formal events such as Remembrance Day parades and award ceremonies, where I wear my dress uniform with great pride. My proudest and greatest achievement is becoming a paramedic as it has opened the door to the rest of my career.”
Many of the people starting out their career on the front line for NEAS will be inspired by the Queen’s Medal recipients because of their years of service, the amount of lives they have saved and commitment they have shown.
David Vaughan, advanced technician based at Stanley ambulance station, said:
“I’ve worked for NEAS for 20 years and I feel totally honoured to have received the Queen’s Medal. It boosts your morale when you get recognition for something but this is by far a proud moment for myself. NEAS is there for the community and every day is challenging and different but that is the job. If you worked in a factory it is the same thing day in and day out. Working in emergency care is a long term career and you have got to make the most of it for the patients that need your support.”
David spoke of a memory from 16 years ago of transporting a four year old little girl, who had leukaemia, from home to Newcastle General.
“She was dressed in a pretty summer dress and had a sun hat on, she was holding a daisy flower in her hand which she played with for the entire journey. She wasn’t impressed with the health care workers or ambulance crew due to the cancer treatment.
“The little girl just sat there cuddled into her mum, on her knee and as they were getting off the ambulance the mum said to the little girl “you need to get rid of the flower.
“The little girl looked me straight in the eye and handed me the flower, my eyes welled up then and still do now when I think about her. I’ve kept that flower and have it pressed in my diary.”
Martin Fletcher, ambulance paramedic, said:
“I’ve worked for NEAS for 23 years and I feel very proud to receive the Queen’s Medal. The years have gone by so quickly and a lot has changed with the organisation since I started but for new recruits just starting their career with NEAS, I would say to look out for yourself, this was crucial to me when I first started.”