Ambulance frontline employees awarded with the Queen’s Medal to recognise distinguished service

15 frontline emergency care employees awarded for their dedication to the ambulance service

Fifteen frontline emergency care employees at North East Ambulance Service have received The Queen’s Medal for their 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 and have 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 15 frontline emergency care 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, has been awarded to 15 employees with a combined service of more than 300 years; Alan Bowater, Robert Bunting, Philip Buxton, Peter Cairns, Ian Daley, Paul Dunning, Darren Fairclough, Jeffery Hutchinson, Mark Merrington, Simon Mobberley, Sean Potts, Gary Shaw, Steven Straker, Paul Tarbit and Gary Wild at an awards ceremony at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Newcastle upon Tyne.

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 employees 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 their 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.”

Paul Dunning, from Ashington, received The Queen's Medal for more than 20 years service. He began his career in the ambulance service in 1993 before moving on to Accident and Emergency in 1997 as a Paramedic. He later progressed to the role of clinical care manager working out of Washington, Pallion and Backworth.

Paul said, “I’ve had many memorable moments and I love my job but I’m just a regular person who comes in every day and try my best.”

Paramedic and father of two, Mark Merrington, from Redcar, has worked in the NHS since the age of 17, but joined the ambulance service 26 years ago. He spent two years working at Patient Transport Service and later qualified as an advanced technician in 1995, two years later began training as a paramedic.

Mark currently works at Redcar station but has spent time working from stations across Tees, Durham, Darlington and Bishop Auckland.

He said, “I have worked with many crews who have always been so warm and welcoming to a stranger with a funny accent. I’ve made lots of memories over the years, both personally and professionally, both good and sad memories. Professionally, gaining my paramedic degree through the conversion course is my proudest moment.”

Sean Potts, from Rowlands Gill, began his ambulance career back in 1992 where he started as part time Patient Transport Service. Sean later became an ambulance liaison, advance technician, paramedic, team leader then advanced practitioner.

Sean now works on the Critical Care vehicle, responding to incidents such as cardiac arrests. He said, “My most proud moments of working at NEAS is when we gain a Return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), I couldn’t be prouder to save someone’s life.”

Paul Tarbit, from Blyth, started working in the ambulance service in December 1994 progressing to Patient Transport Service at both Wallsend and Wideopen. In 2003, he qualified as a Paramedic and then became a team leader.

Paul was seconded to an assistant operations manager post before returning to operational duties in 2014, working on rapid response. He is currently working as a clinical education development officer in the training department.

Paul said, "I've had many memorable moments from working on the road, but I'm most proud to be able to pass on my knowledge and experience to students within the training department."

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