Meet our fantastic four! New Year’s Honours for Welsh Ambulance Service volunteers and staff

28th December 2018

Our fantastic four: Greg Lloyd QAM, Gill Pleming QAM, Peter Richards BEM and Tomos Hughes BEM

FOUR Welsh Ambulance Service volunteers and staff have been named in the Queen’s 2019 New Year’s honours list in recognition of their achievements and outstanding service.

Newport-based Community First Responder (CFR) volunteer Peter Richards is a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for his long-standing commitment to serving the community and supporting other organisation activities, including charity work in Africa.

Another volunteer CFR, Tomos Hughes, has also been awarded a BEM for his work in installing defibrillators in the Conwy Valley, including one at the top of Snowdon, and managing hundreds more of the life-saving machines across North Wales.

Finally, Utilisation Manager Gill Pleming and Head of Clinical Services Greg Lloyd pick up Queen’s Ambulance Service Medals (QAM) for their distinguished service, both having worked for the ambulance service for more than 30 years.

The honours recipients associated with Welsh Ambulance Service was announced late on Friday evening (December 28) by the Cabinet Office. They were among more than 1,100 people named, many for work in their communities.

Peter Richards BEM

In his nine years volunteering for Welsh Ambulance, retired teacher Peter has helped others throughout Caldicot, Chepstow and Newport as well as his home village Llanvaches. Co-ordinating several CFR schemes, Peter trains other CFRs and provides defibrillator instruction. He is also a key member of our Partnership Overseas Networking Trust Charity Ambulance team, working with colleagues in Uganda.

Peter said: “I’m very proud. I take this as an award not for me but in recognition of the whole team, and my wife. You have to have a partner who is sympathetic. It does interfere with life. In the middle of meal, pager goes off and off you go. But I wouldn’t change anything for the world.”

Tomos Hughes BEM

Tomos is a volunteer that’s been instrumental in the deployment and use of defibrillators in the Conwy Valley and now more widely manages a network of Public Access Defibrillator Sites (PADS) across North Wales. Tomos contributes a phenomenal amount of voluntary hours to the scheme every year and continually promotes the role of the CFR, recruiting and training new members and fundraising for extra equipment to support the delivery of care by his team.

Tomos said: “I was completely shocked and overwhelmed when I received my invitation onto the New Year Honours list. I would like to thank the communities for their support and my family and friends along with my colleagues from Welsh Ambulance Service. I feel extremely proud when I see people I've helped getting better and carrying on with their lives. People should train as CFRs as they help make a difference in the early minutes of an emergency call and can save lives within the local community.”

 

Jason Killens, Chief Executive Officer of Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “I am delighted for Peter and Tomos at the news of this special award in recognition of their tireless work in support of their local communities.

“Our volunteer Community First Responders play a vital role in supporting the delivery of emergency care in Wales and their compassion, coupled with their commitment to training, professionalism and use of community-based life-saving equipment, serve as an inspiration to us all.”

Gill Pleming QAM

Gill joined the former Gwynedd County Ambulance Service in 1982 and became a Control Manager following the merger of county ambulance services into the North Wales Ambulance Service. In 2008 she moved to South Wales to help establish a new South East Wales Clinical Contact Centre (CCC). Gill returned to North Wales to manage the CCC at Llanfairfechan and played a leading role in the introduction of the Trust’s new Computed Aided Dispatch System in 2017. In the same year, the Trust’s three CCCs were accredited as Centres of Excellence by the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch (IAED), a project in which Gill was a pivotal figure.

Gill said: “I feel privileged, honoured and humbled to have won this award. It’s recognition not just for me but for all the people past and present that I have worked with, throughout my career in the Ambulance Service. It acknowledges our dedication, commitment, teamwork and professionalism.

“I have been so fortunate to have worked with and learn from some fantastic leaders and people over the years, in an amazing organisation.”

Greg Lloyd QAM

Greg served as a cadet when he joined South Glamorgan Ambulance Service in 1986. He was operational lead for the development of the Alcohol Treatment Centre in Cardiff and volunteered to join the NHS Wales Medical Team in Sierra Leone following the Ebola outbreak in 2014-15. As Head of Clinical Operations since 2016, Greg has continued to modernise the ambulance service’s clinical environment and has played a key role in the implementation of the revised clinical model.

Greg said: “I feel really humbled and privileged knowing that one of my colleagues has nominated me for the award and hope in some way I have helped to improve the service we provide, for staff and patients.

“I started my career at 16 when the then Chief Ambulance Officer, Keith Goodall took on a group of Ambulance cadets. I remain extremely grateful to Keith for his support and guidance he gave to all of us which has stood the test of time.

“I still feel a great sense of pride to work for the Trust and feel very lucky have worked alongside so many dedicated, professional and just fantastic people over the years.”

 

Jason said: “On behalf of the Ambulance Service I congratulate Gill and Greg on being awarded the Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal.

“Their dedication to the service of our communities for more than 30 years has made a significant and lasting contribution to the quality and delivery of emergency care in Wales and it is an honour to work with such committed and inspirational people who have made such a positive impact for so many patients.”

 

In total, 70% of awards in the New Year’s Honours List went to people who have undertaken outstanding work in or for their local community.

Jason added: “To have two volunteers and two staff named in the New Year’s Honours List is a tribute to their contribution to the ambulance service, a reflection on the commitment and high standards all our people uphold and to the service provided in support of our communities.

“It’s an honour to be part of the Welsh Ambulance Service and to work alongside people such as Peter, Tomos, Gill and Greg who epitomise what the service is all about and help lead our contribution to the care and wellbeing of the people of Wales.”