The College of Paramedics is today delighted to announce the recipients of this year’s Honours and Competitive Awards and we extend our heartfelt congratulations to them all.
In the category of Fellowship, the award goes to Richard Lee. To be recognised as a Fellow of the College of Paramedics, recipients need to have made an outstanding contribution to the achievement of the College and the paramedic profession. And Richard is a perfect example of this.
Currently, the Chief Operating Officer for St John Ambulance, Richard, has been a paramedic for the last 27 years and admits he couldn’t be prouder about being awarded a fellowship.
He said: “Ever since I qualified as a paramedic in 1995 I have been lucky enough to meet people, visit places, see things and have experiences that I never imagined I would have. This Fellowship Award is a real honour for me but I hope my crewmates, colleagues, mentors, fellow medical professionals and patients will all accept a part of it. Thank you to the College of Paramedics and here is to the future of our great profession. These are difficult times but I am very proud to be a small part in the world of paramedicine.”
There are two awards in the Companionship category, with both individuals, Carl Smith and Jacqueline O’Neill, each having made a distinctive contribution to the paramedic profession. For this award the recipient’s professional achievements may not be exclusively in paramedicine.
Carl is an Advanced Paramedic in Critical Care with East of England Ambulance Service and also an on-call firefighter with over 25 years experience and an associate tutor at the University of East Anglia.
He said: “It was such a surprise when the College contacted me, informing me that I had won this award in recognition of my joint work as a paramedic and a firefighter. It has been a privilege to have worked for the Fire and Rescue Service and Ambulance Service for 25 years and it has given me a unique understanding of the strengths and benefits both services have to offer, bringing them together to deliver care to the public we serve. I am extremely proud to accept this award on behalf of the colleagues who have supported me.”
Jacqueline, a paramedic and Community Resuscitation Development Officer with Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, is equally delighted with her award.
“I am honoured to be named as Companion of the College of Paramedics, in recognition of my work as a paramedic and an educator,” she says.
“I am both delighted and humbled to be acknowledged in this way by my peers, and in receiving this recognition, I wish to acknowledge all my ambulance service colleagues and Community First Responder volunteers here in Northern Ireland who work every day to save lives and help those most in need of our care.”
She added: “As a paramedic and Community Resuscitation Development Officer I am passionate about continuing to develop access to educational opportunities for everyone, in a bid to increase survival rates of those who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, as well as supporting the further advancement of the paramedic profession.”
The Student of the Year Award this year goes to Chloe Keeping. This award is given in recognition of outstanding effort made by a pre-registration paramedic student in their final year of study, nominated by their course lecturers.
Chloe, who has just finished her Paramedic Science course at the University of Lincoln, always wanted to work as a healthcare professional but because she enjoys working in different environments and meeting new people, she knew the ambulance service and being a paramedic would be the perfect fit for her.
On winning her award, she said: “This has come as a massive surprise to me. The feedback I have had from the committee means a great deal to me ahead of qualifying. I would also like to send massive thanks to the University of Lincoln Paramedic programme team, especially the programme lead Sarah Christopher, for their ongoing support over the last three years and well done to all other nominees."
The Roland Furber Award this year is awarded to Ed Griffiths, an Advanced Search and Rescue Paramedic with Bristow Helicopters Ltd on behalf of HM Coastguard. With his role involving aviation, rescue and clinical elements, Ed admits the thing he loves most about his job is the diversity.
He said: “It could be a maritime, coastal, mountain or an inland rescue. We often work alone in austere environments with critically ill or injured patients – undertaking clinical care within aviation and rescue considerations. This involves making decisions on compromise to achieve the best overall outcome.”
The recipients of the Roland Furber Award are qualified paramedics who have submitted an outstanding clinical case study of an incident they attended.
While Ed admitted that his win was ‘unexpected’ he said it was a ‘real honour’ and that he was ‘totally thrilled’ to be recognised by the College. His clinical study was about a trauma incident involving a kitesurfer.
The judges on the Honours and Competitive Awards Committee were equally impressed with the standard of entries for the Carol Furber Award, whereby recipients have to be pre-registration paramedic students who submit an outstanding reflective case study of an incident they attended.
This year’s recipient, Orfhlaith McNulty, who is currently studying for her MSc in Paramedic Science at the University of Huddersfield said: “I am truly honoured to receive this award from the College of Paramedics for my reflective piece which was about an incident of central chest pain. I would like to say a huge thank you to Sakina Waller, my personal academic tutor, for supporting me with my entry and to Suzanne Lait who has been a wonderful mentor and friend during my time on placement.”
The final award this year is the Dr John Hinds Scholarship Award which goes to Barry Costello. The recipients of this award are pre-hospital responders in Ireland who have submitted an outstanding clinical case study of an incident they attended. Barry’s clinical study was about an incident of gunshot wounds to the lower extremities.
“To be a recipient of the Dr John Hinds Scholarship Award is a great honour, and one I will be forever thankful for,” says Barry, who qualified as a paramedic in 2020 and now works for Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.
“I started out in St. John ambulance west Belfast division in 2016 doing First Aid at the motorbike racing where the Motorcycle Union of Ireland’s medical team (the team John was a part of) would operate, and it was there I first learned what a great person he was, the impact he had on others, and the passion he brought to his craft, and care of patients. Whilst I never met him, I was inspired by Dr John Hinds’ example, and passion for prehospital care, and partly why I pushed on to become a paramedic.
“I am particularly interested in critical care, and as such I am very excited to be undertaking the Anaesthesia Trauma and Critical Care (ATACC) course later this year. I am also looking forward to having my case study published in the College of Paramedics’ Insight magazine for others to read.”
Speaking about all the nominations for this year’s awards, Chair of the Honours and Awards Committee, Bob Fellows, said: “Being Chair is a significant privilege and the whole committee loves to read the accolades from those who nominate their friends and colleagues for an ‘Honour.’ The applications this year were of a particularly high standard and the committee most definitely had their work cut out making their selections.”
A special celebratory afternoon tea will take place on September 29 at the International Convention Centre Wales ICC which will be attended by all the recipients and those who nominated them.
To find out more about the Honours & Awards click here