A hardworking and dedicated Nottinghamshire Paramedic been decorated with the Queen’s Ambulance Medal. Cherylene Camps was decorated with the honour by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales at an investiture at Windsor Castle on Wednesday 1 February 2023.
Cherylene has worked at EMAS for nearly 26 years and she was selected as the recipient of the medal in recognition of her exceptional devotion to duty, outstanding ability, merit and conduct in her role.
Cherylene said: “It was a surreal, magical and emotional day which I can safely say I will never forget.
“I felt very smart and super proud to be wearing the EMAS dress uniform and getting the opportunity to represent my profession at such an important event.
“I had been practicing my curtseying leading up to my meeting with Prince William as it was important for me to get this right.”
While being decorated with the Queen’s Ambulance Medal, Cherylene had a rare opportunity to have a one to one conversation with the Prince.
She added: “His Royal Highness was keen to talk about my work in the air ambulance service, given his history serving as a pilot, and we discussed the different aircraft types.
“We then spoke about the importance of public access defibrillators and mentioned how effective and early bystander CPR followed by early defibrillation can really improve someone’s chances of survival when in cardiac arrest.”
Cherylene was announced as having received the medal as part of the late Queen's Birthday Honours on 2 June 2022.
To this day, Cherylene has no idea who nominated her for this award but says she couldn’t have achieved this distinguished accolade by herself.
She said: “While it’s a great honour and privilege to have received this medal in recognition of my service, it’s not lost on me that none of what I have been able to achieve would have been possible without the amazing teamwork at EMAS”
“My acceptance of this award is dedicated to everyone who has supported my professional and personal development in the ambulance service over the last 26 years. I recognise that this is not an individual award, but only achievable by a whole team approach”
Cherylene joined Nottinghamshire Ambulance Service in 1997, originally working in Patient Transport Service before progressing through other frontline roles and into management for the Nottinghamshire division of EMAS.
Determined to not stop there, Cherylene became one of the first paramedics to undertake a Master’s Degree in Advanced Clinical Practice at the University of Nottingham, and achieved her dream of working for the air ambulance as a Critical Care paramedic, which she continues to this day.
With a wealth of experience, Cherylene stepped into the role of Clinical Development Lead at EMAS where she led on and helped set up the Cardiac Arrest Leads network forming part of the wider Cardiac Arrest Strategy within the service.
Now, as a Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, she is using her knowledge to help develop and enhance the clinical skills of the next generation of frontline ambulance crews and advanced clinical practice.
On what she plans to do with her medal, Cherylene added: “I want to be able to show and share my medal with others whenever the opportunity arises as a source of inspiration.
“It’s a symbol that anyone can achieve their dreams and has the potential to be a driver for positive change within the ambulance service if they set their minds to it.
“If this can happen to me then it can happen to anyone if they keep believing and have a genuine passion for what they do.
“I am committed to our patients and remain motivated by the fact that we all want to be able to deliver exceptional care the first time, be kind and safe – otherwise we wouldn’t be doing what we do.”