Platinum award for lifesaving volunteer
A dedicated volunteer and former patient of Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) has been honoured for his commitment to the charity by receiving a platinum award in recognition of his service.
Rod Martin, from Ashley on the Northamptonshire/Leicestershire border, was involved in an explosion in 2008 at his motor garage company in Market Harborough and already volunteered with the charity to help raise vital funds to ensure its lifesaving missions continue.
Rod was injured during a sudden fire at his garage. He was seriously burned and, following an explosion, metal smashed through his leg shattering bones and nearly severing his limb completely.
“I was initially treated and taken by a land ambulance crew to Kettering hospital, but it was clear that things were very bad. He had 51% burns and was in a very bad way. He needed specialist care quickly.
“WNAA flew me to Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham – famous for being a specialist trauma centre and having one of the best burns units in the country”, explained Rod.
By road, Rod’s journey would have taken at least an hour and a half, but via WNAA’s helicopter, it took just 12 minutes – saving vital minutes when it mattered most.
“I know there wasn’t much hope for me, but the air ambulance gave me that chance, and when I saw the air ambulance flying in and out of the hospital during my recovery, I didn’t realise how often it went out and how many people like me it helped. It made me think that when I could then I would do my bit to help raise awareness and some funds,” he added.
Rod has volunteered for the charity over the last 15 years and has brought in over £33,479 for the lifesaving service. He’s organised collections locally and worked as a community volunteer raising awareness through events and doing talks about his experience and acting as a community ambassador for the charity.
Rod- along with all the charity’s volunteers – will be celebrated and thanked by the charity during this year’s Volunteers’ Week which also coincides with the charity’s celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Rod will be presented with a platinum award and will be invited to the charity café tea parties and receive a special Jubilee mug- to mark the regal milestone.
Head of Volunteering for the charity, Sue Haslett commented: “Our volunteers help in a variety of different ways across the charity, whether they’re raising funds out in the community, supporting in our offices or warehouse, delivering projects, or helping in our shops – every hour that they give makes a difference.
“We couldn’t operate without them, and I’d like to say a big thank you to Rod for his incredible dedication, and to each other volunteer for their ongoing support which helps us to save lives.
“We hope our volunteers enjoy the Jubilee celebrations. Every one of our volunteers already wears a crown, which they should wear with pride, as they are our volunteer royalty.”
The charity hails over 1,200 dedicated volunteers – and with over 50 different volunteering roles- it’s always looking for more people to donate their time or expertise. It offers a great volunteering environment with opportunities to learn new skills, meet new people and develop yourself in ways you may not have considered before.