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Exceptional ambulance teams recognised at staff awards

The heroic and tireless efforts of Ambulance staff and Community First responder volunteers to deliver outstanding patient care have been recognised at the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust’s (SWASFT) staff awards ceremony.

The annual staff awards acknowledge those who have gone above and beyond expectations and the dedicated service of long-standing members of staff.

Peter Davies MBE DL Vice Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall said it was an honour to attend the evening.

“It’s a great privilege for me to be here with these people who have given exemplary service, and on behalf of her Majesty the Queen to give seven members of SWASFT staff their 20 years’ Queen’s Medal for the important work they do in our communities.”

The guest speaker at the awards was Caroline Halliday (an accountant from near Redruth in Cornwall) who told of her traumatic cardiac arrest, exactly a year ago, while out walking her dog and how a young passerby saved her life (pictured with her husband and rescuers).

Around 150 SWASFT staff and volunteers, and members of the public, who played vital roles in responding to emergency situations came together for the event on Friday 22 November at St Mellion International in Saltash, Cornwall.

SWASFT Chief Executive, Ken Wenman, said: “3,000 times a day, within the largest ambulance service in England, our people are saving lives, reducing peoples’ suffering and pain, and dealing with the social and mental health needs of our communities. I am personally thankful to them all.”

Among those many staff who were recognised for being exceptional were:

  • Team of the Year – went to the Responder Team for their support and training of over 4500 volunteers first responders across the South West and also managing the defibrillator scheme and the successful Raizer lifting chair scheme (pictured).
  • Chief Executive Commendation – South Devon Operations Officer and Paramedic Darren Credland (pictured) – for his heroic and selfless act of swimming to save a patient who was struggling in the water off Torquay Pier.
  • 40 Year Award - Paramedic Christopher Buscombe, Specialist Paramedic from Bodmin Ambulance station for his tireless service to the community. (Christopher Buscombe pictured)

The public awards were:

  • Chief Executive Commendation - Richard Gaman (pictured) from Bristol, who was out dog walking his dog when he came across a lifeless body and started CPR which went on to save a young man’s life.
  • Chief Executive Commendation – Sgt Chris Conway and Chief Inspector Tom Holmes (pictured) of Devon and Cornwall Police for their tireless partnership working and collaboration to understand how the Ambulance service works to help the public and police.The images show various award winners pictured with SWASFT Chief Executive Ken Wenman.