Frontline ambulance service staff honoured for dedication to service

Frontline ambulance service staff honoured for dedication to service

Twenty-eight frontline emergency care employees at North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) have received The Ambulance Service (Emergency Duties) Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for their dedication to their roles at an NHS Ambulance Service. 

The Ambulance Service (Emergency Duties) Long Service and Good Conduct Medal is given to all A&E ambulance staff who have been in frontline 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 Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear, Mrs Susan Winfield OBE, presented the medal to the 28 frontline emergency care colleagues at a ceremony held at Gosforth Park Hotel on 4 April 

Speaking at the ceremony, Mrs Winfield said: “I am delighted to be presenting The Queen’s medal to such outstanding frontline emergency care workers.  My warmest congratulations to you all, and my sincere thanks for your devotion to duty and tireless work in your caring and often lifesaving responses to emergency Calls. 

My thanks also to everyone who works for the North East Ambulance Service for all you do to provide medical care and transport across all our communities” 

Between them, they have a combined service of over 560 years: Nicola Ballantyne, Graham Brooks, Kevin Curry, Collin Davison, Jayne Elliot, Mark Fell, George Ford, Graham Ford, Lynn Gillhome, David Goodall, Ian Greaves, David Hare, Donna Hay, Fiona Jones, Simon Kelly, David Lee, Philip Martin, Joanne McDonnell, Louise Norris, Jay Rodden, Andrew Scott, Andy Sessford, Andrew Stewart, Andrew Taylor, Stuart Taylor, Lee Thompson, Marianne Walton, and Stuart Ward. 

Chief Executive, Helen Ray said: “I am incredibly proud of all of our colleagues at North East Ambulance Service, especially those who have dedicated so many years of service to the North East public. 

“When they signed up to our service over 20 years ago, they didn’t just sign up for a job, but a vocation. Their many years of service and care have not been without challenges, but it is an absolute privilege to oversee the incredible work that they have done, and an honour to work with such caring and committed colleagues. 

“The past two years in particular have been incredibly hard for us as a service, but it is colleagues such as those in attendance today who make this service special; without their hard work and unwavering dedication to patient care, we wouldn’t be able to do the work we do every day. "They are an asset to our organisation, and for that I can only say thank you and that I wish each and every one of them enjoy their celebrations.”  

For a number of staff members, joining the ambulance service over 20 years ago was in part a continuation of a family legacy. Following in the footsteps of his dad, who also served on the frontline for 40 years, David Goodall joined the ambulance service in 1993 as a part-time blood courier, moving on to work for the patient transport service, before eventually becoming an advanced technician in 2000 and qualified paramedic in 2004. He has been based Prudhoe station since.   

David said: “I have lots of memories from over the years both good and bad but I feel fortunate to have a career I still enjoy and that still challenges me and I’m thankful for the lifelong friendships I’ve made.  It's nice to get this medal as recognition because 22 years on the front line is a long time.” 

Marianne Walton joined the service in 2000 as part of the patient transport service before going on to qualify as an advanced technician which she worked as across the region until qualifying as a paramedic in 2005. In 2008, Marianne joined our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) in a variety of roles, including becoming the first female HART manager in 2018. Marianne is now one of three emergency preparedness, resilience, and response managers in the Trust. 

On her 22 years in the service, Marianne said: “I wanted to be a paramedic from an early age, so being able to achieve my goal and work alongside such committed and brilliant people every day still gives me enormous pride and satisfaction.” 

Lee Thompson started his career at NEAS in 1995, working initially as part of our patient transport service before qualifying as a paramedic. He later qualified as a paramedic and is now a doctor of trauma care. 

Lee said: “I’m incredibly proud to work for NEAS and the NHS.  I feel privileged to see our region at the forefront of the evolution of prehospital care, and being part of a team which is driving paramedic research from the grass roots, in what is a very unique and demanding area of clinical practice.  It still makes me makes me proud to be a small cog in the big NHS machine. And who would’ve thought that a care assistant could one day become a doctor.”  

Colleagues receiving a medal this year: 

  • Andrew Stewart, Bishop Auckland Station 
  • Andrew Taylor, Ashington Station 
  • Colin Davison, Training School 
  • David Goodall, Prudhoe Station 
  • David Hare, Haltwhistle Station 
  • David Lee, Bishop Auckland Station 
  • Fiona Jones, Stanley Station 
  • George Ford, Rothbury Station 
  • Ian Greaves, Fishburn Station 
  • Jason Rodden, Gateshead Station 
  • Jayne Elliott, Gateshead Station 
  • Joanne McDonnell, Ashington Station 
  • Kevin Curry, Training School 
  • Lee Thompson, Backworth Station 
  • Louise Norris, Bishop Auckland Cluster Station  
  • Lynne Gilhome, Belford Station  
  • Mark Fell, Barnard Castle Station 
  • Nicola Ballantyne, Ashington Station 
  • Philip Martin, Monkton Station 
  • Simon Kelly, Weardale Station 
  • Stuart Ward, South Shields Station 
  • Andy Sessford, Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response Team (EPRR) 
  • Donna Hay, Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response Team (EPRR) 
  • Marianne Walton, Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response Team (EPRR) 
  • Andrew Scott, Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) 
  • Graham Brooks, Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) 
  • Graham Ford, Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) 
  • Stuart Taylor, Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) 

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