A South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) volunteer has won a national award for going above and beyond the call of duty.
Community First Responder (CFR) Mike Kemp was given the Volunteer of the Year accolade at the Unsung Hero Awards 2018.
Mike has covered the Liskeard and Looe area of Cornwall for 15 years. He has attended more than 3,000 incidents, including over 200 cardiac arrests. Mike was also a member of St John’s Ambulance from age 11 for more than 50 years.
Mike said: “I’m delighted to have won this award. It’s fantastic for CFRs, who do some much great work, and for the Trust as a whole to be recognised in this way. I couldn’t do what I do without the help of the other volunteers – and our superb 999 Control Hub team.
“It’s such a privilege to volunteer in this way and know you’re helping people in the community when they are most in need. I’m going to continue being a CFR for as long as I’m able to do so.”
Rich Buckley, Acting Responder Manager for SWASFT, said: “Mike has been instrumental in saving the lives of numerous patients in and around his community, and he makes a real difference to everyone he treats.
“He is unable to walk down the high street of the area he lives without being stopped and thanked by a patient, friend or relative of somebody he has treated.”
CFRs are trained volunteers who support their local community by attending emergency calls on behalf of SWASFT while an ambulance is on its way.
They respond to particular types of medical emergencies where it is essential for the patient to receive immediate lifesaving care. These include conditions such as cardiac arrest, chest pain, breathing difficulties, unconscious patients, fitting and stroke.
There are almost 1,000 CFRs who volunteer for SWASFT, covering hundreds of locations across the South West.
Mike was one of four SWASFT employees and volunteers – as well as many other non-clinical NHS staff – who were officially recognised acknowledged at the event on Friday.
CFRs Anna Smith and Craig Holmes were also shortlisted for the Volunteer of the Year award.
Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) Team Leader, Harriet La Trobe, was shortlisted for the ‘Life Saver’ accolade – after stepping-in to provide vital life support to an injured driver from a serious road traffic accident.
EMAs give vital lifesaving medical advice, including CPR instructions and other first aid help, to callers so they can help patients during an emergency.
The Unsung Hero Awards were created to celebrate the hard work of NHS non-medical staff members.
The awards were presented during a ceremony at The Principal Hotel in Manchester City Centre on Friday 23 February.