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LISTEN: 999 call handler up for an award after Cornish rescue

LISTEN: 999 call handler up for an award after Cornish rescue

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 2:38pm 21st January 2019. (Updated at 2:42pm 21st January 2019)

A 999 call handler is up for a national award after saving a police inspector who collapsed on the Cornish coastpath.

South Western Ambulance Service Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Olivia Molyneux, has been shortlisted for the Patient's Choice accolade at the 2019 Unsung Hero Awards.

It is following her efforts to help off-duty Metropolitan official Dave George.

Dave was training for a charity walk when he was struggling to breathe between Penzance and Land's End in August last year.

The 43-year-old had been walking for several hours in the hot weather.

He experienced "crushing" chest pains but managed to call 999 to get help.

999 - inspector dave george rescue
Inspector Dave George was walking the Cornish coastpath when he collapsed and was struggling to breathe - but he managed to call 999

Olivia, who joined SWASFT in August 2017, assessed his condition and stayed on the phone to him while crews travelled to the remote location.

"I knew I was in trouble. I was on my own in a remote location, and needed help.

"My chest pains were quite intense. So it was a desperate situation. But the response from everyone was amazing.

"Olivia was totally exceptional. She dealt with a very difficult and challenging call in the most superb way.

"I wanted to thank her personally, because call handlers don't tend to get the recognition they deserve.

"The kindness and calm professionalism that she showed deserved special praise. I don't think I could have got through that hour alone without her staying on the line and talking to me."

Inspector Dave George

You can listen to part of the 999 call below...

Inspector George was transported by land ambulance to hospital where he was diagnosed with serious heat stroke. He made a full recovery.

He later wrote a letter to the SWASFT Chief Executive in which he expressed "sincere thanks and praise" for Olivia's role - and also made the trip to thank her in person.

999 - inspector dave george rescue
Call handler Olivia Molyneux managed to get an ambulance to him - and has now been shortlisted for an award

"I feel incredibly honoured to have been chosen by a patient, let alone shortlisted, for a national award.

"It's so lovely of him to make such an effort to acknowledge my contribution towards the lifesaving care he received.

"Staff in the Control Room don't often get thanked for the hard work we do 24/7, 365 days a year on behalf of the Trust for patients.

"So, to be recognised in this way is such an encouragement to us all."

Olivia Molyneux, Emergency Medical Dispatcher

The Unsung Hero Awards are intended to shine a light onto the hard work that non-medical staff and volunteers of the NHS strive towards on a daily basis.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Manchester on 1st March.

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