Award for Ettington CFR Scheme First Responders from West Midlands Ambulance Service

Three of our First Responders – Zarig, Paul and Russ – were nominated by West Midlands Ambulance Service to each receive a First Responder of the Year Award. The Awards were presented at a ceremony on 11th March by Anthony Marsh, Chief Executive Officer of WMAS and Mrs Anna Turner, High Sheriff of Shropshire. Zarig, Russ and Paul w ere the first three qualified responders in the team but this Award is recognition of the work by the entire team; including the other First Responders and the non-responding (non-medical) members who work so hard to raise funds for the Scheme and carry out other vital roles.

WMAS nominated Zarig, Russ and Paul for these Awards in recognition of the work that has been done in setting up the Ettington CFR Scheme since June 2009 and the cover that has been provided in the Ettington area since then. In the citation which was read out at the ceremony, West Midlands Ambulance Service specifically highlighted the extensive cover that these three First Responders had provided with specific mention of cover over the Christmas and New Year period. WMAS went on to say that the First Responders in Ettington are “extremely valuable to the Trust due to their remote location”.

Almost 200 volunteers, including Community First Responders, volunteer car drivers and members of the British Red Cross and St. John Ambulance attended the ceremony. The members of the Ettington team received three out of the nine Community First Responder of the Year awards.

Anna Turner, High Sheriff of Shropshire said in her speech to the award recipients; “I don’t know what it is that makes you go out on a cold wet night, rattle a tin and raise funds. I don’t know what it is that makes you go out, grab your bag and rush in your own car to an incident, but I do know I am humbled by everything you achieve. It is a fantastic service that you give and I am so proud of everything that you do.”

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, highlighted the way that there were many people alive today because of the actions of WMAS’ volunteers. He asked all the award recipients to pass on his personal thanks to their colleagues in the teams who operate across the WMAS area. He explained that there are now 1,500 Community First Responders working with WMAS.

Russ Inman, Community First Responder & Scheme Coordinator said; “We’re absolutely delighted that West Midlands Ambulance Service has chosen to recognise the work of the Ettington CFR team. This award is recognition of the work by the entire team; this includes the other First Responders and the non-responding [non-medical] members who work so hard to raise funds for the Scheme and carry out other vital roles. I’d like to take this opportunity to express our thanks for the outstanding fundraising support that we have received from the communities which we serve; notably Ettington and the Pillertons. This support has been instrumental in this Award as, without that, the Scheme couldn’t have been launched in the first place nor grown to be as effective as it now is”.

Zarig Prothero, Community First Responder said; “I think it’s fantastic; I was really pleased. It’s a great reward”.

Paul Mulligan, Community First Responder & Scheme Chair said; “Nomination for the ‘Community First Responder of the Year Award’ means a great deal to all of the Ettington CFR team and we are delighted to have been chosen from amongst the many schemes in operation. Since our inception in June 2009, we have worked very hard to raise awareness of our voluntary work. Through various fundraising initiatives, and recruitment we have now equipped five trained responders and deliver almost 24/7 support to WMAS in our locality. Recognition of our work by WMAS further reinforces our resolve to provide the best emergency treatment for our locality”

We’d like to take this opportunity to express our thanks for the outstanding fundraising support that we have received from the communities which we serve; notably Ettington and the Pillertons. This support has been instrumental in this Award as, without that, the Scheme couldn’t have been launched in the first place nor grown to be as effective as it now is. We’d also like to recognise Sarah Neale and Tony Ashfield who played major roles in the launch of the Scheme.