Katherine’s Matthew Craig has been named the best paramedic in the Top End.
Mr Craig was awarded the NT Northern Paramedic award by St John Ambulance this week.
The Paramedic of the Year awards are run by Rotary to acknowledge the dedication and service paramedics they provide in communities throughout the Northern Territory.
Mr Craig said he was blown away by his win.
“It was a bit of a shock, you don’t go to work expecting a thank you so I was really surprised by it,” Mr Craig said.
“We cop a fair bit of verbal abuse on a weekly if not daily basis, so it is really nice to be recognised like this.”
The humble award winner said although it wasn’t what he expected, he loved his job.
“I became a paramedic because I wanted a challenging and exciting career and what a career it has turned out to be.
“Every day is an adventure, meeting amazing people from the NT and around the world in varying circumstances.
“It is rewarding being able to help people on a daily basis and the camaraderie between my coworkers is second to none.
St John Ambulance Katherine officer in charge Rhys Dowell said Katherine is lucky to have someone of Mr Craig’s standard serving the Katherine community.
“It is fantastic having someone of Matt’s calibre on our staff and being awarded,” Mr Dowell said.
“He shows dedication to not only his job but to his patients and their families. Jobs can be quite distressing for patients and their family and he acts as that calming influence.”
Mr Craig grew up in Victoria with a background in the Australian Army and construction.
In 2011 he moved to Darwin with his wife Stephanie, and became a qualified paramedic by 2015.
After six years in Darwin Mr Craig moved to Katherine and began working as a paramedic here in January.
“I love the small community of Katherine, the relationship we are able to have with the community is great,” Mr Craig said.
Caitlin Little of Alice Springs won the overall NT Paramedic of the Year.
“Caitlin was chosen from a high calibre of nominations and it is with pleasure we announce her as this year’s winner,” a St John’s Ambulance spokeswoman said.
For the past 18 years these awards have recognised exceptional paramedics, 000 call takers and patient transport officer.
“The calibre of these nominations was extremely high and these nominations have been received from members of the public attended to by our people, as well as from those who have witnessed and been comforted by their work,” the spokeswoman said.
“The winner this year, Caitlin Little is originally from Gippsland in Victoria. She completed a double degree of Bachelor of Paramedicine and Nursing through the Australian Catholic University.
“She began her career in paramedicine through Victorian Ambulance where she completed her graduate training and became a qualified Paramedic.
‘Wanting to pursue her passion in remote medicine, Caitlin gained a position with St John Ambulance NT in 2014 moving to Alice Springs,” the St John’s Ambulance spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman said Caitlin had quickly proven herself to be an outstanding paramedic and team member.
“Caitlin is a dedicated contributor to the organisation having completed numerous roles in addition to her qualified Paramedic role including; mentor to new graduates, acting station officer, peer support officer and health and safety representative.
“Caitlin continues to exemplify qualities and attributes of a St John NT Ambulance Paramedic. She is dedicated both professionally and in a volunteer capacity to providing the best quality prehospital care for the sick and injured within the community.
“Caitlin continues to work casually as a Registered Nurse at the Alice Springs Hospital as a team member in the Emergency Department, and recently travelled to Nepal in a volunteer capacity with the Wild Medic Project assisting in primary care health delivery to remote Nepalese communities,” she said.
Caitlin is furthering her studies as she is currently studying a Masters of Advanced Paramedicine through the University of Tasmania.
“Highly regarded amongst her peers, managers, allied health professionals and most importantly her patients. Caitlin has established herself within the organisation and community as a dedicated, compassionate and respected St John NT Ambulance Paramedic. Caitlin is a well deserving recipient of the 2017 Paramedic of the Year award,” the spokeswoman said.
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