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Ambulance Service Institute Awards Navy Medics

Ambulance Service Institute Awards Navy Medics

16/11/2012

Six Royal Navy medics have been recognised by the Ambulance Service Institute (ASI) for their life-saving first aid skills used during an incident on board a submarine and while on operations in Afghanistan.

The First Aid Team in HMS Astute that day dealt with a most unexpected and unusual event and their sense of duty and commitment are in the very best traditions of the Royal Navy. Their actions totally exceeded their level of training and deserve the highest recognition
Commander Iain Breckenridge

Five medics on board HMS Astute – one a professional Medical Assistant and the rest qualified first aiders – were awarded the ASI First Aid Award for their actions when an armed Able Seaman opened fire while the boat was docked in Southampton.

One Naval officer, Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux, was killed and the other injured.

They were treated by the team – Petty Officer Medical Assistant Cooper Richards, Leading Logistician (LLogs) Stephen Espie, LLogs (Chef) Steven Baillie, LLogs (Chef) Michael Marley, Logs Alan Waterston until civilian paramedics arrived on the scene.

In nominating them for the award, their Commanding Officer Commander Iain Breckenridge said:

"The First Aid Team in HMS Astute that day dealt with a most unexpected and unusual event and their sense of duty and commitment are in the very best traditions of the Royal Navy.

"Their actions totally exceeded their level of training and deserve the highest recognition."

Following the award, POMA Richards said:

“It is always nice getting recognition for your actions but it is a shame that such a tragedy had to unfold.

"Our thoughts go out to the family of the late Lieutenant Commander Molyneux.”

A sixth Royal Navy medic has also won the ASI Military Award for his actions in helping a stricken Royal Marine patrol in Afghanistan which had been hit by two IEDs.

Leading Medical Assistant Chris Jones, who is based at HMS Nelson in Portsmouth, was on patrol in May 2011 when two explosions sounded and he was required to run across 400m of open ground to reach another patrol that had been fatally hit.

On arrival there were six casualties; four of which had serious life threatening wounds.

LMA Jones treated the four – moving on to the next only when he had back-up from colleagues who could assist him following his initial treatments of their injuries.

Despite difficult circumstances in which a fellow medic and close friend was among the most seriously injured, and while the threat of further attacks was extremely high, LMA Jones continued to treat the men until they were evacuated by helicopter.

Of the four, three later died of their wounds, of which one was an Afghan interpreter. One of the dead had worked with LMA Jones on a previous deployment, while the survivor was a fellow medic and friend.

LMA Jones, who is from Farringdon in Sunderland, and has previously received a Royal Navy senior officer commendation from the Royal Navy for his actions in theatre, said:

“I felt humbled to receive this award, and was really pleased to be nominated.

“The ambulance service is a career I would want to pursue after the navy so to be recognised by them means a lot.

"It was a difficult tour – during that eight-day patrol we took 11 casualties in four days but I would probably go back if asked.”

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