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King’s Ambulance Service medal for Islander in New Year honours

Louise Walker
King’s Ambulance Service medal for Islander in New Year honours
30 December 2023

Louise Walker, Head of Education, Training and Engagement, for the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service, has been awarded the King’s Ambulance Service Medal (KAM) for distinguished service, it was announced last night.

Chief Executive of Isle of Wight NHS Trust and Ambulance Service, Penny Emerit, said:

“We are delighted that Louise has been recognised in the King’s New Year Honours List.

“Louise demonstrates exceptional ability evidenced through the many positive changes she has made for the benefit of people on the island. She is a valued member of the service and an incredible role model for everyone she meets.

“These awards celebrate some of the nation’s very best ambulance professionals, and I’d like to extend a huge congratulations to Louise who has without doubt been instrumental in saving the lives of many people on the island.”

Louise, who was born on the island and grew up in Cowes, has worked in the NHS for over 23 years. She first qualified as a nurse at the University of the West of England, Bristol, in 2000 and went on to work for North Bristol NHS Trust before moving back home to the Island.

Following a nursing career in paediatrics, the Emergency Department and as a Resuscitation Officer, Louise moved to work for the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service 11 years ago.

When she started there were only 11 public access defibrillators (PADs) and thanks to Louise’s dedication and hard work, the island now has almost 100 ambulance owned PADs, over 400 privately owned PADs, and Louise is recognised as a national expert in this field.

The ambulance service on the island provided no formal first aid training, it now delivers accredited first aid training to businesses and schools across the island.

Following successful recruitment, the service now has over 30 volunteer Community First Responders, along with staff responders of which Louise is one. She introduced volunteer fire and rescue cardiac arrest responders in 2022 and over the past year Green Watch Ryde and Shanklin On-Call have assisted the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service with over 110 life threatening incidents. 

In 2022 alone, over 1000 primary school children have been taught Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) by Louise and her small team of tutors.

Louise said:

“To receive this award is such a privilege and I feel extremely humbled.

“I’m incredibly grateful to be part of this team who work so hard, I do a job I love and work with the most wonderful people. It’s all for the community we live and work in, and for the island that I grew up on and I love.”

As well as all of the above, Louise is also a qualified advanced adult, paediatric and neonatal life support instructor and teaches paramedics and emergency care assistants. During her career in the ambulance service, Louise has introduced accredited qualifications for both clinical and driving aspects of the ambulance service, she has worked on the national volunteer strategy and is vice chair of the National Ambulance Services Responder Managers’ Group.

Victoria White, Director of the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service, said:

“I am so thrilled that Louise has been recognised for her dedication to our ambulance service. She not only reunites survivors with their life savers but also carries out welfare checks on our staff and volunteers, as well as sometimes reaching out to support members of the public who may have been the first person on the scene of a cardiac arrest.

“I am so proud of Louise, and I know all of our colleagues and many islanders will be too.”

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