Two Crieff men have been named in the Queen’s 2013 New Year’s Honours List announced on Saturday.
Local paramedic John Pritchard has been awarded an MBE for services to the Scottish Ambulance Service and emergency care charity BASICS Scotland. Actor Ewan McGregor has been awarded an OBE for services to Drama and Charity.
When John received the letter a few weeks ago, marked “in strictest confidence”, he thought it was a wind-up at first. He didn’t really believe it was true until the list was officially announced and a friend texted to congratulate him just as he was finishing his shift in the early hours of Saturday morning.
John told the Herald: “It’s a really strange sensation and very humbling as so many others truly deserve this type of honour. With our job, we are part of a bigger team of doctors, nurses, ambulance staff and first responders and there are so many people I work with that inspire me, such as Dr Colville Laird, a rural GP and Medical Director of BASICS Scotland.”
John is passionate about BASICS (the British Association of Immediate Care Scotland), a Perthshire based charity that specialises in promoting the provision of high quality pre-hospital emergency care in Scotland.
He is also involved with the Sandpiper Trust, a charity that aims to provide Scotland’s doctors and nurses, trained in accident and emergency skills by BASICS, with appropriate emergency medical equipment known as the Sandpiper Bag.
John is committed to pre-hospital care and wants to see more defibrillators available in public places.
He spends much of his spare time giving talks to health visitors and new mums and making school liaison visits.
He was on camera recently on Channel 5’s Highland Emergency when he had to make a daring airlift of a climber stranded on Ben Vorlich with a broken leg.
John would like to thank his wife Sarah and his family for their support, especially when he disappears for meetings and call outs; the team at Crieff Ambulance Station and local community groups, such as the Soroptimists, who raise funds towards medical equipment.
Dr Laird said: “John thoroughly deserves this award. He is an extremely enthusiastic and conscientious paramedic who works above and beyond the normal to promote pre-hospital care in Scotland.”