Two paramedics based at Morpeth Ambulance Station have been honoured for their loyalty and commitment at a prestigious ceremony.
The 14 workers from across the region awarded the Queen’s Medal for long service and good conduct at the headquarters of the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) in Newcastle included Heather Crosbie and Harry Hogg.
The silver medal was issued under Royal Warrant in 1995. It is presented to staff who have given at least 20 years of service on the frontline.
Each presentation was made by the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Sir Nigel Sherlock.
Mrs Crosbie, 43, joined what was then the Northumbria Ambulance Service at the age of 19 and three years later she became a frontline paramedic.
“I’m very proud to get a Queen’s Medal – it’s nice to be recognised for our work over the years,” she said.
“What makes the job interesting is that every day is different. Me and Harry are part of a great team of 11 people at the Morpeth station and we have a good relationship with the other emergency services, as well as the hospital staff at Wansbeck.
“The amount of skills that we have has increased a lot from when I first started and this means we can do many more treatments than 20 years ago.”
Mr Hogg, 52, worked in the occupational health department at Ellington Colliery before joining the ambulance service when the pit was closed by British Coal a few years before the corporation was wound up.
He said: “It was a great ceremony and I’m grateful to the ambulance service because it has looked after us as much as we have been loyal servants.
“You have got to love the job to do it well, you can’t take a half-hearted approach.
“It’s a lot more professional now than when I first started, but the demands and workloads have increased massively as well.”
Both he and Mrs Crosbie said that good communication and people skills, patience and compassion are the key requirements for dealing with emergency situations such as a mother giving birth unexpectedly and major trauma incidents.
Ashley Winter, chairman of the North East Ambulance Service, said: “The Queen’s Medal is a richly deserved honour.
“It is a stressful and demanding job, which at times can put our crews in very difficult – and sometimes dangerous – situations.
“Despite this, our crews always put the care of patients as their main priority.
“This is something I’m sure everyone in the North East is extremely grateful for.”