Prestigious award for volunteer Carl

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A Bilsthorpe volunteer is one of only two people this year to receive a prestigious royal award for his work in the ambulance service.

The Duke of Cambridge presented 55-year-old Carl Keeble with the Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The medal is awarded to members of the NHS ambulance service who have demonstrated prolonged and distinguished service.

Carl has been a paramedic for 39 years, with experience working in the military and the NHS.

He joined St John Ambulance as a volunteer in 1974, and currently works for the East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS) and is also a trustee for the East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme (EMICS).

Carl was nominated for the honour as he has been a volunteer paramedic responder for 15 years, provides support and mentoring for doctors across the East Midlands, and set up an East Midlands-based Community First Responder scheme for EMAS and St John Ambulance.

His award was announced in the last Birthday Honours List.

Carl said: “It was great to hear I was going to receive the honour.

“It was only given to two people this year so it’s a privilege to have been nominated and chosen.

“The health service doesn’t always get a good press so I’m proud for meyself and for the profession as a whole.

“It’s a great job and I just love working with people, particularly the elderly patients we see.

“The job gives me the opportunity to meet some lovely people and while it can be challenging it’s rewarding too and there is lots of support available.”

Speaking after the ceremony, which he attended with his wife Jakki, daughter Victoria and father-in-law, Carl said: “It was a really great day for me and for my family and it is a real honour to be part of a profession that is recognised in this way.

“We had a lovely day in London, the ceremony was great and the surroundings were perfect.”

• To learn more about volunteering with St John Ambulance visit www.sja.org.uk.