A SWANSEA paramedic has collected a Queen's Ambulance Service Medal from Her Majesty the Queen.
Richard Hook, an Advanced Paramedic Practitioner for the Welsh Ambulance Service, was recognised in the New Year’s Honours list and collected his medal at a ceremony at Windsor Castle last Tuesday (April 15, 2014).
The Queen's Ambulance Service Medal is awarded to distinguish exemplary service from ambulance workers in the NHS and reward exceptional devotion to duty.
Of his investiture, Richard said: “It was such an honour to be presented with my award from Her Majesty the Queen, especially with my family watching.
“I was pleased to accept the medal on behalf of my colleagues who work so hard as part of the Welsh Ambulance Service, which has been a major part of my life for so long.
“It was a day my family and I will never forget.”
Richard joined the Trust in 1979 as an ambulance man and qualified as a paramedic in 1986.
He worked as a Regional Paramedic Tutor until 1998, when he turned his attention to training colleagues on how to deliver life-saving thrombolysis care to patients with a blood clot.
In 2012 he was promoted to Advanced Paramedic Practitioner (APP), a role designed to provide a wider range of specialist healthcare at the scene of an incident or at a patient’s home and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions.
Approximately 20 APPs operate throughout Wales with a further 19 currently in education and training, and latest figures show that around 50 per cent of patients seen by an APP are treated at scene or at home.
Last year Richard, whose son James Hook is a Wales international rugby union player for French club Perpignan, also signed up for NHS Wales’ Champions for Health initiative in a bid to shed two and a half stone, which he successfully lost.
Elwyn Price-Morris, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “It’s wonderful that Richard has been rewarded in this way for his dedication to the patients of Wales through his work with the ambulance service.
“It's a great occasion for Richard and fully deserved, and I am very proud for him and his family and am pleased that his commitment and dedication has been recognised in such a distinguished way.”
The Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal was first introduced in 2012, when now retired Director of Ambulance Services, Dafydd Jones-Morris, was commended in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
And last year Mike Collins, then Head of Service for Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, also collected the medal for dedicating his 32-year career to the ambulance service in Wales.
Mike has since been appointed as the Trust’s Director of Service Delivery.