DSAA shortlisted as finalists in two Awards of Excellence

October 7, 2016 by Tracy

DSAA In ActionDorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is delighted to announce that it has been shortlisted in two categories at this year’s Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence.  The finalists have been announced by the Association of Air Ambulances and the winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony to be held on 14 November 2016 at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London.

Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) Neil Bizzell is shortlisted in the Air Ambulance Paramedic of the Year category and the air ambulance crew of Dr. Jeremy Reid, CCP Leonie German, CCP Paul Owen and pilot Mario Carretta have been shortlisted in the Special Incident Award category.

Neil Bizzell became the newest member of the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance team when he joined on 1st September 2015.  He has a passion for education and training and is enthusiastic to the core. Not set to use this for his own benefit, he thrives on giving back what he has learnt to so many others including his ambulance service colleagues, health care students and multi-disciplinary clinicians.

Critical Care Paramedic Neil BizzellNeil has created immersive educational days which are aimed at informing others of the capabilities and skills that Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance can provide, ensuring that the aircraft and crew are tasked appropriately.  He has pump primed these activities with his own time; giving hundreds of hours to prepare, deliver and follow up on them.  The effects on this for patients has literally been life size; in the last year, 52 patients who would not normally have benefitted from the team’s care have received treatment.  These cases have been specific requests from Ambulance Service clinicians at the scenes of incidents who have all personally attended education sessions that Neil has delivered.

The incident which sees Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance become a finalist in the Special Incident Award category took place earlier this year.  The crew were tasked to a serious motorcycle incident at the bottom of a deep, narrow, heavily wooded quarry.  The nearest and safest landing site was a field on the rim of the quarry approximately half a mile from the incident.

Two motorcyclists had collided head on; one patient suffered serious injuries and the other had immediate life-threatening injuries due to being struck in the throat by the motorcycle handlebar.  This patient was in a mortal state and without the organisation, motivation, teamwork and skills delivered by the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance team, he most certainly would have died.CCP Leonie German, CCP Paul Owen, Dr Jeremy Reid and pilot Mario Carretta

Every aspect of the mission demonstrates the benefits of a helicopter borne Critical Care Team; the rapid deployment of a regional specialised clinical capability to a remote location, landing as near to the incident as possible by an experienced HEMS pilot, flexible deployment of a full critical care capability well beyond the aircraft’s vicinity (due to the fitness and motivation of the aircrew), rapid assessment and decisive life-saving interventions carried out when a patient needs them and onward safe medical transport to the hospital best suited to the patient’s needs.

Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said:

“We are extremely proud that our Critical Care Team have once again been recognised nationally for their outstanding work.  Knowing how modest Neil Bizzell is, this is likely to come as a surprise to him but not to the rest of us.  His commitment to patients and to the team is absolute and I believe that he is an example to us all.  With regards to the Special Incident Award, we could have put forward a number of incidents for consideration, but in the end we selected an incident that demonstrated clinical excellence and outstanding teamwork.  It is without doubt the team who were on duty that day saved this patient’s life and the mission is an exemplar of air ambulance activity.”

Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Chair of the Judging Panel commented further and said:

“The judging panel for this year’s Awards were full of praise for all nominees. There are clearly some remarkable people operating in the air ambulance community, where everyone plays their part, from volunteers to doctors, pilots to paramedics, fundraisers to marketers. These awards recognise all those people and more. I know the judges found it a very difficult task to choose between some outstanding nominees but what is clear is that each and every nominee is an exceptional individual or team, and I would like to thank all of them for their hard work, courage, determination and vision. With great difficulty, the judges narrowed down the field and we can all now look forward to the winners being announced in November.”

A full list of categories and all those shortlisted as finalists in the 2016 Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence can be found by visiting: http://www.associationofairambulances.co.uk/news/70/