Long service medals for ambulance staff
TWO members of the St John Emergency Ambulance Service have been presented with long service medals by Lieutenant-Governor Sir Ian Corder.
The ambulance service, emergency duties, long service and good conduct medal is a national award gained after completing 20 years of exemplary service to emergency ambulance service duties.
Senior officer Malcolm Mechem and Paramedic Steve Domaille received the medals during a special ceremony at the St John headquarters on Tuesday06/02.
Sir Ian said it was important to make sure society recognised the hard work and dedication of members of the ambulance service and the commitment and professionalism required to maintain an efficient service that keeps the public safe.
‘A huge congratulations to Malcolm and Steve on behalf of the island,’ he said.
Mr Mechem said it was brilliant to receive the award.
‘You don’t realise how quick time goes, I can remember quite clearly the first day I started in 1998,’ he said.
Mr Mechem joined St John after a career change in his 30s from the motoring industry where he had been part of the Brabham Formula 1 racing team.
‘An opportunity came along with St John. It was completely different and something I wanted to try, I had no medical background and I started on patient transport service,’ he said.
Mr Mechem then trained as an emergency medical technician and then a paramedic. He has also been an engineer on the Flying Christine and trainer to ambulance staff.
He became senior officer in 2011 with oversight of Emergency Planning, the vehicle fleet, administration and patient transport service.
Mr Domaille also said the recognition was great.
‘I never thought I’d be here for 20 years. It’s very rewarding and nice to talk to his excellency,’ he said.
Before starting his St John career, Mr Domaille was a lifeguard.
‘I studied outdoor pursuits and leisure management so when I came back to Guernsey I was looking for something outdoor-sy,’ he said.
‘At the time it was the cliff rescue team that attracted me.’
As well as cliff rescue, Mr Domaille has served on inshore rescue boat teams. He also began in the patient transport service before progressing to the role of emergency medical technician and then paramedic.
After some time as station officer and senior officer, he returned to being a paramedic and is now at the highest clinical level a paramedic in Guernsey can reach and undertaking part time study for a degree in Paramedic Practice.
‘It’s important to keep up with current practices,’ he said.
St John Emergency Ambulance Service chief officer Ali Marquis said recipients of the award had reached a milestone in their careers and also displayed outstanding service to the public, often in times of need. ‘The ambulance service nationally, St John and the wider public hold those receiving these awards in high esteem,’ she said.
‘On behalf of the St John Emergency Ambulance Service I would like to express my gratitude to Malcolm and Steve for their dedication, their loyal service and the care they have given to the public.’
Ms Marquis said it was a great honour that the Lt-Governor had recognised not just their work but the work of the ambulance service as a whole.
She said there are a lot of employees who have served for 20 years or more, with one having just retired after serving for over 40 years.
‘I think ambulance service gets under you skin, it’s hard to leave.
‘Everyone’s here because they want to be. They are dedicated to the job and patients are very complimentary to staff about the service they receive,’ she said.