09 March 2016 - GEM Awards 2016 Courage, dedication and partnership were celebrated at the North West Ambulance Service’s (NWAS) annual Going the Extra Mile (GEM) Awards, as staff and volunteers were honoured for going above and beyond in their roles. Around 200 staff members and guests attended the glitzy ceremony held at Ribby Hall Village in Lancashire on Thursday 3 March, which was hosted by BBC North West Tonight presenter Annabel Tiffin. The evening was an opportunity for staff, volunteers and other emergency service and health partners from across the region to cheer on their fellow team members shortlisted in the 14 different award categories. Each nominee was put forward for an award by their own colleagues and there were special commendation awards from the Trust’s Chair and Chief Executive. Teams were celebrated for the huge search and rescue operation following the explosion at Woods Flour Mill in the Cheshire village of Bosley last summer, as well as those that responded to the devastating floods across the region over Christmas. There were some amazing stories of compassion from all the nominees. These included a heavily pregnant paramedic who saved her neighbours life, a paramedic who arranges a Christmas day meal for people within her community who would have spent the day alone and a Community First Responder that gives up over 40 hours each week to volunteer and fundraise for the Trust. Chief Executive, Bob Williams, presented a special award for care and compassion in honour of late staff member, Simon Williams to Consultant Paramedic, Dan Smith, who Bob described as "the embodiment of the behaviour and culture I have been promoting during my tenure as Chief." Wyn Dignan, Chair of NWAS said: “These awards are a fantastic way to recognise and thank our truly heroic and enthusiastic staff who regularly go that extra mile. I am always impressed by the quality and inspiring actions of the nominees and this year was no exception, making it especially difficult to decide who should receive the award, as they are all so deserving. “Being a winner, finalist, or receiving a nomination is a tremendous achievement and highlights the outstanding work that is taking place within NWAS every day. Many congratulations to everyone.” The full list of winners: Frontline Staff Member of the Year, Paramedic Emergency Service – Kate Mitten Frontline Staff Member of the Year, Emergency Operations Centre – Mattie Haselwood Frontline Staff Member of the Year, Patient Transport Service – Violet Clifton-Sprigg Frontline Staff Member of the Year, NWAS NHS 111 – Maria Cilliers Leader of the Year – Dave Suart Support Staff Member of the Year – Barbara Coleman Team of the Year – ICT Service Delivery Unsung Hero – Sara Lace Volunteer of the Year – Alan Scowcroft Partnership of the Year – GM Cardiac Initiative Courage Award – Mohammed Ali, Rebecca Barron, Stephen ‘Tom’ Goodwin The evening also paid tribute to our Chief Executive, Bob Williams, who retired from the Trust on Friday 4 March with an emotional video featuring photos of Bob from throughout his 30 year career with video clips of good luck messages from colleagues and his family. The event was funded entirely by generous sponsors; Virgin Media Business, Physio Control, Kudray Consulting, MIS Emergency Systems, Flexicare, Manchester United Football Club and Continuous Data Print Management.