An Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer from West Midlands Ambulance Service, whose career spans 28 years, has been recognised in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List.
Steve Wheaton, Resilience and Specialist Operations Director and one of the Trust’s Assistant Chief Ambulance Officers, has been awarded the Queen’s Ambulance Medal (QAM) to recognise his dedication and distinguished service to the ambulance sector which carries the same level of Royal recognition as other members of the emergency services.
Steve found his passion with the ambulance service at the tender age of ten when he became a cadet with a local volunteer ambulance service. In 1991, he went on to become a cadet with London Ambulance Service where he spent ten years progressing to become a registered Paramedic. In 2001 Steve obtained a promotion to Duty Officer at the, then Essex Ambulance Service before moving up the ranks to Station Officer, Divisional Commander and the Head of Emergency Planning.
In 2008, Steve made the move to West Midlands Ambulance Service to head up and expand the Trust’s Emergency Preparedness and Specialist Operations team where he remains today. 2013 saw Steve seconded to the role of Deputy Senior Responsible Officer at the Home Office where he was responsible for rolling out the national Joint Emergency Service Interoperability Programme (JESIP) across all emergency services in England.
West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Marsh, said:
I have known Steve for 15 years and, in that time, I have watched him progress and flourish within the ambulance service to become a knowledgeable and well-respected individual in his field. I am incredibly proud that Steve has been recognised in this way and would like to thank him for his tremendous service and for the thousands of patients he has helped along the way.
Steve, aged 44, lives in the West Midlands with his wife Suzie and has three children; Liam, Chloe and Thomas. Speaking about his award, Steve said:
I am immensely proud and humbled to receive this award. It is a truly great privilege to be recognised with a QAM and it took some time for the news to sink in.
I still very much believe that working within the emergency services and the ambulance service, in particular, is a privilege and I have never forgotten the core values instilled in me by some very influential people throughout my career in the voluntary sector, London Ambulance Service, Essex Ambulance Service and now in the West Midlands.
This award is as much for them as it is for me. I feel honoured to work with some amazing people during my 28 years, many of which have become close friends.
I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to not only my family for their never-ending support and understanding throughout my career, but also to my ambulance family for enabling me to do a job which is immensely rewarding.