Co Down paramedic Glenn O'Rorke named best in the UK
A paramedic from Co Down has won the award for UK Paramedic of the Year.
Glenn O'Rorke, from Bangor, was handed the honour at the Ambulance Leadership Forum Conference in Warwick.
Mr O'Rorke, who works in the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service's (NIAS) helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS), was nominated by the NIAS's medical director Dr Nigel Ruddell.
He received the award on Monday - just a day after NIAS crews responded to the fatal crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, in which three teenagers died.
Ambulance crews also attended three fatal road crashes over the weekend.
Mr O'Rorke paid tribute to the paramedics he has worked with.
"This award is a reflection of the contribution to patient care of all the teams I have worked with throughout my career – ACAs (ambulance care attendants), EMTs (emergency medical technicians), control, paramedics and more recently the HEMS team in NI," he said.
"The ambulance service is a huge family and I pay tribute to each and every one of them and I consider it an honour to work alongside them on a daily basis.
"I would like to give a special thanks to the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and Air Ambulance Northern Ireland who have given me the opportunity, and absolute privilege, to do what I love doing – working with, and for, patients."
Mr O'Rorke said he was suprised to be nominated.
"I felt very proud and privileged to be nominated as UK Paramedic of the Year," he said.
"It came as a huge surprise, knowing how many paramedics are out there delivering a gold standard of care – particularly in NIAS."
Dr Ruddell said Mr O'Rorke "epitomises" the best qualities of paramedics.
"In terms of providing care for patients, he has been uncompromising in his standards," he said.
"Recently he has worked really hard to develop a team of paramedics and doctors who work alongside him on the HEMS service and, in doing so, he has raised standards for the care of serious trauma patients, right across Northern Ireland."
NIAS chief executive, Michael Bloomfield attended Monday's ceremony.
“I congratulate Glenn on this well deserved national award," he said.
"It is recognition of his exceptional contribution to the establishment and delivery of the HEMS service and also reflects the high standard of care provided by everyone, every day in the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.”