Tributes have been paid to East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) paramedic and former Duty Operations Manager in Lincolnshire, who passed away on Friday 8th October.
A spokesperson for EMAS said:
‘Chris was a valued member of our team for 26 years.
‘He joined the Humberside Ambulance Service in 1995 as an Ambulance Care Assistant, and then progressed through to qualifying as a Paramedic in 2009, working in North Lincolnshire, based at Scunthorpe Ambulance Station, and also spending time at our Gainsborough and Market Rasen Stations.
‘In September 2017, Chris became Clinical Operations Manager, and then Duty Operations Manager in November 2017.
‘In April 2020, Chris left EMAS to join the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust on a fixed-term contract, working there until March 2021.
‘Throughout that time, he continued to respond to patients through his Bank Paramedic role’.
Chris also volunteered his spare time to support his local community, operating as a LIVES Medical First Responder and also working in a number of roles with St John Ambulance
As Chair of Rescue Day, Chris directed the hugely popular annual event, raising the profile of the ambulance service whilst also raising funds for the installation of public access defibrillators.
At the Rescue Day in 2017, Chris was reunited with a family who he had responded to when the husband collapsed and stopped breathing; Chris was off-duty at home at the time, but as a volunteer medical first responder he made himself available to respond to emergencies in his community.
Chris was notified about the collapse and was on scene within minutes to start providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation – an action that saved the patient’s life.
In 2018, Chris and his team were announced winners of a Health Education England (HEE) ‘Clinical Team of the Year’ award, for their dedication to the HEE rotating paramedic pilot.
The spokesperson added: ‘Chris will be missed by many and our collective thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad and difficult time’.
Tribute from Chris’ family:
“As a family, we are all deeply saddened at the tragic loss of Chris. He had a big heart and was kind, generous and sensitive to the needs of others and touched the lives and hearts of so many. Those who knew Chris will know how proud he was of all he achieved in his career and how passionate he was about the ambulance service.
“As a family, we are incredibly proud of all that Chris achieved. We are devastated and trying to come to terms with his loss.
“We are hugely grateful for all the messages of support from friends and colleagues.”
Richard Henderson, EMAS Chief Executive said:
“Chris and I began our ambulance service career together on the same day in North Lincolnshire. Over the years, I have had the great pleasure of working with Chris on various occasions. The grief experienced by colleagues across the service demonstrates how valued Chris was; he made significant contributions to the care provided to patients and the support given to staff.
“My thoughts and condolences are with Chris’ family and friends, and his colleagues across the service; they will be feeling his loss for the months and years to come, and we will ensure that we support them.”
Michael Collins, Chris’ colleague and close friend said:
“Chris and I began our careers on the Patient Transport Service and we have worked alongside each other for much of the 26 years, and Chris was a well-respected Paramedic. Chris was the best man at my wedding in 2015 and he has always been a trusted and reliable friend. Chris was very sensitive and caring and touched the hearts of so many. He has left a massive hole in the hearts and lives of so many.
“My thoughts are with Chris’s family, his friends and all his colleagues across the NHS and emergency services.”
Sue Cousland, EMAS Lincolnshire Divisional Director said:
“Chris is well known across Lincolnshire thanks to his work on the frontline across the county and with volunteer and community groups. More recently through his managerial roles, he also worked closely with colleagues in our Emergency Operations Centres, with members of our leadership team, and with colleagues at the local hospitals.
“In response to this incredibly sad news, colleagues have reflected that Chris was an extremely competent clinician and was able to mentor and support people to achieve greater things within the clinical environment.
“Chris gave a lot of clinical confidence and knowledge by his sheer presence – not only through his roles at EMAS but also when operating as a Medical First Responder and a responder for LIVES. He will be missed by many, and I offer my sincere condolences to them all.”
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