The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has 6,000 employees across the whole of Zone 2 (North West England) and is equal with London as the largest ambulance trust in the UK. Last August Diane Hardwick of the Rochdale Branch and David Perris of the Bolton Branch were invited to present Badged Testaments to Chief Executive, Derek Cartwright, and Chair of the Trust Board, Wyn Dignan.
Also present was Madeline Edgar, Communications Manager, who was of great assistance in working with Diane Hardwick to get Department of Health approval for the logo. This was needed as both the NWAS crest and the NHS logo had to be included in compliance with Department of Health Guidelines. Diane is a former executive director of NWAS and a former colleague of Mr Cartwright, so the presentation was relaxed, friendly and informal.
Mr Cartwright and Mrs Dignan also each accepted a gift of a Presentation Bible with the logo but wanted photographs of them receiving the Badged Testaments to encourage staff to accept them.
Madeline and Derek had worked with staff representatives to choose a prayer for insertion in the Testaments.
Mr Cartwright and Mrs Dignan spoke of the stresses that staff face and referred to the Manchester bombing only three months previously. Staff representatives had taken part in a special BBC Songs of Praise and spoke of how their faith helps them in times of crisis. The trust has been reviewing their pastoral care plans as a result of this major incident and both the Chair and Chief Executive believed that the Testaments would help with this.
They were delighted with the look of the Testaments and felt that they would be very helpful to staff as they would fit into uniform pockets or in vehicle glove compartments. As of the day of presentation 50 Testaments had been requested via Trust HQ. The Trust will now issue information about the availability of the Testaments through bulletins to staff.
A Paramedic's Prayer
Lord, you know what lies ahead of me this day.
The calls I will be asked to respond to,
and those who find themselves
in situations they never
imagined and see no way out.
For them I humbly ask that you would
speed me on with attending
angels at my side guiding every decision
To all who plead and those who cannot,
I pray to be a Good Samaritan
as they look to me for help and rescue.
Help me to save as many as I can,
and should mine be the last face they see,
I pray they will have looked into eyes
that reflected your love for them.
In Jesus' Name Amen.
Diane Hardwick, Rochdale Branch