Two members of London Ambulance Service staff have received MBEs in the New Year Honours List.
Former British and European BMX champion Tom Lynch was recognised for his role in setting up the Service’s pioneering Cycle Response Unit, while Alan Clark, a team leader at Whipps Cross ambulance station, was honoured for his work as a squadron leader with the Royal Air Force’s Air Cadets.
Tom was the first person in the country to come up with the idea of responding to ambulance 999 calls by bike, and carried out a trial in the summer of 2000 in the West End.
Following the success of the project, a team of riders started working in Central London in 2002 and the initiative has since gone from strength to strength, with staff working on the team able to cancel nearly half of the ambulances that are also dispatched to calls—freeing them up to respond to other patients in the area.
Bikes are also now based at Heathrow Airport—believed to be the first team of its kind at a European airport—and in his current role as Cycle Response Unit Coordinator, Tom also oversaw the introduction of a new cycle team to respond to calls in the City of London.
Tom has worked for the Service for 12 years and before setting up the Cycle Response Unit worked as an emergency medical technician in south-west London.
He said: “It is indeed an honour to receive such an award as both my BMX and ambulance career have been very enjoyable and have provided great success along the way since I was 11 years old.
“I will gratefully accept the MBE as I believe cycling and sport have a great deal to offer society in many ways and have tried to use my knowledge, skills and experience to start the life-saving ambulance cycle units in the UK for better public safety. I have had great support from my family, friends and work colleagues over the years who have always stood by me, and without them none of my ideas would have become reality.”
Tom was awarded the MBE for services to bicycle moto-cross (BMX) racing and the London Ambulance Service’s cycling unit.
Alan was honoured for his dedication and hard work as a first aid advisor for the Royal Air Force’s Air Training Corps.
He has provided first aid training to air cadets for 27 years and said: “I do what I do for the love of the job, and because of my work with the Service, I wanted to pass on my knowledge to the air cadets.”
Alan, who has worked for the Service for 30 years, only found out about his award on Saturday morning—the same time that the list of recipients was published. He added: “I was absolutely gob-smacked when I received the letter as I didn’t know I’d been nominated.”
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