Double award for 'inspirational' firefighter

Double award for 'inspirational' on-call firefighter

Special peer-to-peer ambulance accolade goes to fire co-responder for the first time

A firefighter has received a prestigious accolade for excellence from the ambulance service – he is the first to receive this award… and the second.

Scott Avery was presented with a Favourable Event Report Form (FERF) for his skill and professionalism, not only because of how he cared for a patient, but also for how he comforted the family and explained what was happening.

Clinical Operations Manager Jodie-Lea Phillips, Paramedic Team Leader Pete Oliver and Kevin Ringshall, of the community engagement and training team, from South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), attended Horndean Fire Station on drill night to surprise the 24-year-old.

Scott, who has been on-call firefighter at the station for five years and a fulltime firefighter at Southsea for three years, was even more surprised to find out the only other co-responder to have ever won this award was… him.

He was told in addition to this award for his actions at an incident in August this year he was also to receive another accolade for his above and beyond efforts in supporting paramedics in January.

Scott, who has been a co-responder for four years, said: 

“I find this a bit overwhelming but I am also extremely proud that the people I work with have praised me in this way.

“I have always wanted to be a co-responder but waited until I had been in the fire service for a year as I knew they had fantastic training and I wanted to build on my experience and confidence.

“I still remember the feeling the first time my pager went off and I knew I was on my own. I feel a lot more confident now I have been doing it a while but I’ll never forget that feeling.”

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service was a pioneer of the co-responder scheme and has been running it in partnership with SCAS for 15 years at one point doing more co-responder call-outs than the rest of the fire services combined.

Horndean is one of key stations for co-responding and attends almost 1,000 of the 5,000 co-responding call-outs the service responds to.

Co-responders are deployed by SCAS to 999 calls as they can deliver initial medical care before an ambulance arrives.

Jodie-Lea Phillips said: 

“This award is special because it is peer-to-peer, it comes from people who worked with you at an incident who have come back at the end of a shift and thought ‘I need to tell somebody how impressed I was’.

“Saving life and going above and beyond is part of our paramedics daily routine so it takes a lot to impress them as Scott clearly has.

“This award is special because it is from your peers, it is somewhere between man of the match voted by the players and an Oscar voted by actors.”

The award is run by SCAS and nominees are put forward by staff for special recognition and this then goes through management to select any winners.

Station Manager and SCAS Liaison Officer Rob Sansome said: 

“We are extremely proud of Scott. He is hard-working, dedicated and sets incredibly high standards.

“Responding to medical emergencies has become an increasingly important part of the role of a modern firefighter as we, as a service, look at new ways of keeping the people of Hampshire safe.

“Scott is absolutely committed to helping the community and is an inspirational yet humble member of the team.”

Scott Avery receives award from Jodie-Lea Phillips and Pete Oliver
Scott Avery receives award from Jodie-Lea Phillips and Pete Oliver