Almost 350 guests celebrated the best and brightest from the air ambulance community last night at the national Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence 2015.
Awards hosts, BBC News presenter Sophie Long and Helicopter Heroes presenter Rav Wilding handed out 11 Awards to outstanding individuals and teams, whose stories were inspirational, astonishing and humbling. The awards, which are independently judged, went to pilots, paramedics, doctors, fundraisers and volunteers who collected their trophies at a ceremony held in central London last night.
An enthusiastic audience listened to the remarkable stories of each shortlisted nominee, all of whom demonstrated excellence and commitment well above and beyond the call of duty.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Peter Holden, who has been instrumental in the development of air ambulance services over the past 32 years, while the always-popular Outstanding Young Person Award went to Ben Lovegrove, who was shown to be the epitome of determination. Also recognised were the team behind the life-saving mission at Alton Towers this year. A full list of winners appears below.
Chair of the Judging Panel, Chloe Smith MP, said: “This was a wonderful evening recognising and celebrating the amazing work done by the nation’s air ambulance services. My fellow judges and I were humbled by the outstanding quality of the nominations we received, and I would like to congratulate every single one of the nominees. The winners of the Awards can be assured that they truly are exceptional examples of what can be achieved through teamwork, expertise, courage and conviction.”
Below is a list of all the winners:
Air Ambulance Campaign Award
WINNER: Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust
Sponsor: Lottery Fundraising Services
Charity Staff Member of the Year
WINNER: Jackie Eastwood, Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust
Sponsor: Milestone Aviation Group Ltd
Charity Volunteer of the Year
WINNER: Olive Nathan, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust
Sponsor: BIU Group Ltd
Air Ambulance Doctor of the Year
WINNER: Dr Gareth Grier, London’s Air Ambulance
Innovation of the Year
WINNER: London’s Air Ambulance
Sponsor: Sloane Helicopters Ltd
Lifetime Achievement Award
WINNER: Peter Holden
Sponsor: Medical Aviation Services
Air Ambulance Paramedic of the Year
WINNER: Gerry Lea, Thames Valley Air Ambulance
Sponsor: Prometheus Medical Ltd
Air Ambulance Pilot of the Year
WINNER: Captain Rob Mackie, Devon Air Ambulance
Sponsor: Turbomeca UK
Special Incident Award
WINNER: Midlands Air Ambulance Charity
Sponsor: Airbus Helicopters
Outstanding Young Person Award
WINNER: Ben Lovegrove, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity
Sponsor: Bond Aviation Group
AAA Chairman’s Award
WINNER: Peter Aldrick
Notes:1. Further details about the Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence can be found at www.aoaa.org.uk/aaae.
2. The event is a not for-profit exercise promoting best practice and excellence in the emergency pre-hospital sector.
3. In the UK there are 37 operational Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Helicopters operated by 19 charities in close support of local ambulance services.
4. Media are advised to contact individual organisations for further details. Contact details can be obtained from Andrew Scriven on firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 01564339959.
5. The Judges were:
1. Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Air Ambulances.
2. Bill Sivewright, AAA Chairman and CEO of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.
3. Mark Docherty, Director of Nursing, Quality and Clinical Commissioning for the West Midlands Ambulance Service
4. Peter Norton, CEO of the British Helicopter Association.
5. Victoria Gaffney, Regional Manager at the British Heart Foundation.
6. The Awards are operated by the Association of Air Ambulances and are open to all air ambulance and ambulance services in the UK.