NIAS staff are often looked upon as heroes by members of the public. Sometimes this does not sit easy with our frontline staff who see what they do as a privilege.
But there are times when they go “above and beyond the call of duty” and in order to preserve life they choose to set to one side their own personal safety to ensure that of another.
NIAS has now introduced an award which recognises such selflessness and bravery. The NIAS Bravery Award was awarded for the first time to a crew from the Northern Division, Paramedic Shauna Loughran and EMT Aona Mac Giolla Bhrighde.
Aona and Shauna were returning to their base when they noticed smoke billowing from a house in Moneymore. They stopped, contacted Control and then made their way to the house to lead an elderly occupant to safety before also warning neighbours of the danger. With everyone removed to safety, they turned to witness the smoke turn to flames as the fire caught hold.
Their actions, undoubtedly, saved lives and both Aona and Shauna were invited to a meeting of our Trust Board in Downpatrick, where NIAS Chair, Nicole Lappin, introduced them to the Board before presenting them with the NIAS Bravery Award.
The entire Service is extremely proud of both and they are worthy first recipients of this award.