Emergency services staff recognised in honours list

An Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer from West Midlands Ambulance Service and the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police are amongst a list of emergency services personnel recognised in this year's New Year’s Honour’s List.

Keith Prior, who is a National Ambulance Resilience Unit (NARU) Director, has a career spanning 39-years in the ambulance service and he has been awarded the Queen’s Ambulance Medal to reflect his dedication and distinguished service to his profession.

The QAM ensures that the dedication of ambulance staff has the same level of Royal recognition as other members of the emergency services.

Keith has made a significant contribution to UK national resilience by ensuring the effective ambulance response to major, mass-casualty events including London terror attacks, severe flooding and the response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking about his award, Keith said:

“I am extremely honoured to receive this award for what is ultimately, doing a job that I love. Throughout my 39-year career within the ambulance service I have worked with some fantastic people and I fully recognise that I would not be in this position without a great deal of hard work and support from colleagues, wherever I have worked.

“I am proud to have helped so many people since I started off as a cadet aged 16 and feel privileged to have been able to continue doing so in the years that have followed.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family for their continued support, without which, I would not have been able to enjoy the fantastic career that I have.”

Three members of West Midlands Police have also received awards, including Chief Constable Dave Thompson who is knighted. 

Mr Thompson becomes a Sir in recognition of his services to policing over a 30 year career spanning Greater Manchester Police and West Midlands Police. The 51-year-old father-of-two said he was 'genuinely humbled' to have been honoured. He said:

“When I saw the nomination I thought about my grandparents and the lives and opportunities they had. Were they alive they would struggle to imagine that a member of their family only two generations on could have been awarded this honour. 

Detective Chief Inspector Jenny Pearson and Mick Braycotton

“This has been possible because of the support of my family, specifically my parents, my wife and our children. Like any police family Carole and my girls have made sacrifices for policing. It has also been possible because of policing and the people in it. I owe policing everything. 

“A job where every constable can rise to be the Chief Constable. A service full of amazing diverse people who have taught me so much. Everyday officers and staff in this force put themselves at great peril for the public and I am humbled I get to work with you all. Thank you.

“The greatest honour of my life has been to be a police officer and then to be the Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police. Nothing can ever beat this but this is a lovely recognition for policing."

The New Year list also sees Detective Chief Inspector Jennifer Pearson receive a Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) and Mick Braycotton from the Traffic Investigations Unit collect a British Empire Medal.


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