Pioneering paramedics and volunteer receive Ambulance Service Medal

Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) recipient Ken Whittle and his peer support dog Bruce

Six Ambulance Victoria paramedics and a CERT volunteer have been recognised with the Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) in the 2020 Australia Day Honours List.

Led by Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Australia Day Honours List recognises the outstanding service and contributions of Australians across all walks of life and industries.

Ambulance Victoria CEO Associate Professor Tony Walker said each recipient had displayed outstanding leadership and dedication throughout their careers.

“We are so incredibly proud of our colleagues, who have selflessly gone above and beyond to make a difference to those around them,” he said.

“From developing specialist advanced airway training programs that help save more lives, leading initiatives that improve the mental and physical health of their peers, and providing outstanding care for their communities – their contributions are significant and their dedication is outstanding.”

Meet our 2020 Ambulance Service Medal Recipients:

  • Ken Whittle, along with his lovable six-year-old Labrador, Bruce, has been a driving force behind the success of Australia’s first Peer Support Dog Pilot Program in an ambulance service. Ken has been influential in raising awareness of mental health and reducing the stigma attached to seeking help.
  • William Briggs has made a significant contribution to the promotion of occupational health and safety in his 28 years with Ambulance Victoria. William has been instrumental in the research and development of the MICA Single Responder program.
  • Rain Histen is an Advanced Life Saving paramedic who has been a driving force in improving the health of Ambulance Victoria staff and our wider emergency service colleagues, encouraging them to participate in events including the Eureka Stair Climb and MCG Stadium Stomp.
  • Terry Marshall has been a mentor to upcoming leaders at Ambulance Victoria in a career that has so far spanned more than three decades. Terry developed a specialist intubation training program for MICA paramedics, which has helped save more lives.
  • Gail Sharp has dedicated more than 15 years as a volunteer with the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in Birchip. She has provided outstanding care in her local community and has been instrumental in encouraging more volunteers to join Ambulance Victoria.
  • Lance Simmons has been an Advanced Life Saving paramedic for an impressive 45 years. Lance played a key role in initiating a welfare fund for paramedics following the death of a colleague in 1975 and after the 1984 Ash Wednesday bushfires.
  • Susan Walsh is a valued MICA paramedic and amid ground-breaking challenges for women in ambulance, has continued to support, develop and mentor the skills of volunteers in her community of Wedderburn, in Victoria’s North East.
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