Ambulance Service Picks Up Two, Together Towards Success Awards

Wednesday, 01 July, 2009

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust NWAS) took home two awards at Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service's annual awards ceremony last weekend.

The Together Towards Success Awards pay tribute to the people who have gone the extra mile in the interests of public safety.

Winning the award for 'operational excellence' was the emergency services in Keswick, which included Paramedics Phil Harrison and Christine Riley for their involvement in a multi-agency rescue in which a woman and her husband were wedged under a 70ft tree in Borrowdale, Keswick.

The couple had been out walking when the tree they were sitting on collapsed and pinned them to the ground. Some 20 minutes later the woman's husband managed to free himself and ran to get help for his wife.

The incident was exceptionally demanding, both physically and mentally, on the paramedics, fire-fighters, mountain rescue team, police and RAF involved with the patient being rescued and taken to hospital within two hours.

NWAS were also frontrunners in the most effective / imaginative partnership category. Carl Whittaker, Patient Transport Service Manager for Morecambe Bay, picked up the award on behalf of NWAS for their home safety scheme which runs in conjunction with Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service.

Non-emergency ambulance staff have referred approximately 80 patients they deem to be 'at risk' since the scheme rolled out across Cumbria in July last year. These patients were told about the scheme and referred to community officers from the fire service for their free home safety check. The home safety check includes a home inspection from the community officer, a fire plan designed for each individual home and the fitting of a smoke detector.

NWAS's Director of Emergency Services Derek Cartwright said: "It is fantastic that our staff have been recognised by the together towards success awards. Both awards demonstrate the success of partnership working amongst the emergency services in Cumbria. I am very proud of all those involved."

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges from Cumbria County Council and Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service.

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