EEAST volunteer scoops prestigious award

Gerry Bird receives his award from Dr Tom Davis

A volunteer at EEAST has been recognised for outstanding contribution at an annual forum of leading figures in the ambulance service.

Gerry Bird, a volunteer for EEAST for more than ten years, received the award in the Exceptional Volunteer category at the Ambulance Leadership Forum (ALF).

The judging panel were impressed with Gerry’s dedication to his role as volunteer co-ordinator at EEAST despite suffering with the effects of long Covid.

Gerry spent some time in an Intensive Care Unit after falling seriously ill with Covid-19 early in the pandemic in 2020 and was one of the early people to be diagnosed with long Covid.

Despite the challenges he has faced, he continued to support community first responders (CFRs) and new recruits from his hospital bed and, following his discharge, from his home.

He also continued his own development of clinical skills online and maintained a positive outlook throughout.

On a rare outing outside his home in south Essex, Gerry travelled to EEAST’s headquarters in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire to pick up the award from acting chief executive Dr Tom Davis.

Gerry said: “Receiving the award for outstanding service as a volunteer Community First Responder was an unexpected highlight in my eleventh year as a CFR.

“The award recognises what CFRs can achieve when supporting our communities as volunteers and highlights that link between the highly professional Ambulance Personnel and CFRs, who are trained and supported by their regional Ambulance Services.  

Dr Tom Davis said: “The judging panel said that Gerry’s nomination stood out and it is easy to see why.

“When you take into account the challenges he has faced in the last year or so, his work as a co-ordinator of volunteers is remarkable and he is inspiration to us all at EEAST.” 

EEAST is always on the look-out for more volunteers. If you are interested in helping your community and becoming a first responder, more details can be found on EEAST’s website.

Wednesday 16 June 2021