8 May 2017 - Ambulance Stars Commended for Fantastic Work Ambulance staff from across the region have been recognised by North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) in their annual Star Awards which saw hundreds of paramedics, care assistants, dispatchers and health advisors come together for a celebration of outstanding achievement from the past year. An ambulance crew from Penrith has been praised by NWAS for their courageous efforts as they rescued a number of elderly residents after their sheltered accommodation had set alight. The team, made up of Lindsay Oliver, Lee Salman and Kevin Bancroft arrived before the Fire Service and went inside the burning building in November to help carry around 30 elderly and vulnerable residents to safety. The team was presented with a Courage Award at NWAS’ annual Star Awards. The award ceremony which was hosted by ITV Granada’s Paul Crone with entertainment from Manchester comedian, Jason Manford was held at Ribby Hall Village, near Preston on Thursday 25 April. Chief Executive for NWAS, Derek Cartwright, said: “I am so proud of our amazing staff and although they are all fantastic, these awards give us the chance to say thank you to those who really have gone above and beyond their call of duty and gone the extra mile to help their patients. “It was a fantastic evening of achievement and although we wish that we could invite everyone, it is a great chance for us to give something back to our fabulous staff who work so hard every single day to help others!” Amongst the other winners for the evening was Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Paul Matthews from Manchester who gave life-saving CPR instructions over the phone for an 18 month baby who had stopped breathing after being trapped in a car underwater. Despite the sheer panic at the scene, Paul stayed calm and in control which undoubtedly saved the baby’s life. Staff from the Emergency Operation Centre in Liverpool were awarded for their strong teamwork which allowed them to overcome technical issues without affecting 999 callers. Other awards were presented for patient transport service, 111 and support staff member of the year as well as special awards presented by Chief Executive, Derek Cartwright and Chairman, Wyn Dignan. A special commendation was presented to a team of clinicians who have implemented a life-saving tool for ambulance crews to recognise sepsis, a leading cause of avoidable death which kills more people than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined. The team have implemented a sepsis screening tool as well as standardised training for Paramedics which is audited and continuously improved. One project commended on the evening was Restart a Heart Day where NWAS teamed up with Resuscitation Council UK, St John Ambulance and British Red Cross to train over 16,000 young people in essential CPR skills in just one day! Those who took part in filming ‘999: What’s Your Emergency?’ which aired on Channel 4 last summer received a special award and Chief Executive, Derek Cartwright presented an award for care and compassion to a group of people who have been fundamental in bringing health and wellbeing for NWAS staff to the forefront of the service’s agenda. The health and wellbeing champions have done all sorts from relays to craft making; all to remind staff to talk to each other and not to bottle up their feelings. Dan Farnworth, EMT1 and Rich Morton, Paramedic from Blackpool have even been recognised by royalty and ran the London Marathon for the Prince’s Heads Together charity. The event was funded entirely by the generous donations of Virgin Media Business, Physio Control, MIS Emergency Systems Limited, Flexicare Medical Limited, University of Central Lancashire, Cornerstone Design and Marketing, Continuous Data Print, Manchester United Football Club, Nova Biomedical and Prometheus Medical.