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Welsh Ambulance Service staff recognised in King's Birthday Honours List

TWO Welsh Ambulance Service staff have been recognised in His Majesty the King’s Birthday Honours List.

Chief Executive Jason Killens has been awarded the prestigious King’s Ambulance Service Medal for distinguished service, it was announced tonight.

Meanwhile, Volunteer Car Service Driver Ian Cross has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the Trust.

The King’s Birthday Honours List recognises the outstanding achievements of people across the UK, from all walks of life.

Colin Dennis, Chair of the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “We’re beyond thrilled that Jason and Ian have been recognised in King Charles’ first Birthday Honours List.

“We’re incredibly proud of all colleagues who go the extra mile for patients, at all levels, including hard-working volunteers like Ian.

“Jason meanwhile has a near 30-year ambulance service career, his talent and tenacity as a Chief Executive taking him literally around the globe.

passionate about the delivery of high quality patient care in partnership with a workforce of highly skilled, engaged and healthy people, and it shines through in all he does.

“These awards recognise the dedication of some of our very best ambulance professionals, and I’d like to extend a huge congratulations to Jason and Ian.”

Jason began his career as an Emergency Medical Technician at London Ambulance Service, where he held various senior leadership roles, including Executive Director of Operations.

He was appointed the Chief Executive of the South Australia Ambulance Service in 2015 before joining the Welsh Ambulance Service as Chief Executive in 2018.

He is an Honorary Professor at Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Sciences, and the Chief Executive lead for Operations at the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives.

Jason, 48, said: “I’m proud and delighted to be recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours List.

“I’ve had 27 years in ambulance services in the UK and Australia and I love it as much now as I did on day one.

“Ambulance work for me is all
about doing the best we can for our people and our patients, so the King’s Ambulance Service Medal is as much for them as it is for me.

“A huge congratulations also to Ian, who is an integral cog in the wheel of our non-emergency service.”

Ian Cross, a civil servant from Pontypool, volunteers two days per week to take patients to their hospital appointments, including dialysis, oncology and outpatient appointments.

Ian, who is severely deaf, is usually accompanied by his hearing dog Buddy, a 10-year-old Cocker Spaniel trained to assist Ian by alerting him to important sounds, like smoke alarms.

In 2022/23, Volunteer Car Service Drivers made
51,924 journeys across Wales and covered more than one and a half million miles in their own vehicles.

Ian, 53, said: “I couldn’t believe it when the letter landed on my doormat.

“I saw ‘On His Majesty’s Service’ and thought: ‘Oh no, I’m in trouble.’

“I was shaking like a leaf and it gave me goose bumps to read – I have goose bumps talking about it even now.

“Poor old Buddy was wondering where his tea was because I just kept re-reading the letter.

“The fact that it’s the King’s first Birthday Honours List makes me especially proud, and I’m really looking forward to the presentation of the medal.”

To learn more about becoming a Volunteer Car Service Driver, visit: Become a Volunteer Car Service Driver - Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies, said: “It is incredibly inspiring to hear about the extraordinary and invaluable work of so many people from across Wales who have deservedly been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours.

“Welsh recipients from a wide range of fields have been recognised, whether it’s for their commitment to their local community, their contribution to sport, education, culture or health – and I’m thrilled that their endeavours have been commended.

“I would like to congratulate all the recipients being honoured and thank each and every one for their contribution.”

Editor’s Notes
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