Scottish Ambulance Service staff member awarded Queen’s Ambulance Medal in 2022 New Year Honours list

Pat O'Meara with Professor Jason Leitch

A Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) staff member who has been instrumental in dealing with some of Scotland’s biggest incidents has today been awarded the Queen’s Ambulance Medal (QAM).

The prestigious honour - which acknowledges ambulance personnel who have shown exceptional devotion to duty, merit and conduct - has been awarded to Patrick (Pat) O’Meara, General Manager of Events.

Pat, 57, joined SAS in 1998, after 17 years at the London Ambulance Service.

Throughout the past four decades, he has been involved in some of the UK’s most significant incidents, including the Clutha Bar crash where he was incident commander, the George Square bin lorry tragedy, and the Stockline Plastics Factory explosion.

Most recently, he has led the Service’s planning and response to COP26 and in the early stages of the pandemic, led on the development and implementation of the Service’s Mobile Testing Units.

Speaking of the award, Pat, who lives in East Kilbride, said: “I am very humbled and grateful and it’s a great honour to receive the award. In saying that, you never work on your own and any success is always down to being a member of a team.”

Pat started with the Scottish Ambulance Service as an Operations Room Officer, where he was responsible for control room emergency operations across Glasgow. Over the years at SAS, he has worked as a General Manager for Ambulance Control Centres, Community Resilience, and South East Scotland, which included the responsibility for the visit of Pope Benedict. Pat is also the Chief Medical Support Officer of the Army Cadet Force and is a Trustee of the Poppyscotland charity.

The dad-of-one joined the London Ambulance Service in 1981. Growing up wanting to be a policeman, he said: “I learnt first aid as an Army Cadet and had to use those skills with a serious leg wound on a fellow pupil who was pushed from a second floor window and later on another pupil having a fit. I then felt that the ambulance service was a career I should look at.

“The ambulance service was very different to today. The skills were not as advanced as they are now, we did not have defibrillators and there was no such role as a paramedic, only advanced trained ambulance men.”

Speaking on some of his memorable jobs throughout his career - in addition to Clutha and the Glasgow Bin Lorry incident - he said: “A young man aged 15 had been stabbed with a machete and despite my efforts and those of others, he sadly died. I remember him pleading with me not to let him die. I have also attended a bombing, an aircraft crash at Heathrow Airport, I’ve been held hostage and attended an incident where I was chased with a knife!”

SAS Chief Operating Officer Paul Bassett said: “Pat has been an amazing ambassador for the Scottish Ambulance Service over the past 23 years and this award is testament to Pat’s dedication and professionalism. He has been heavily involved in several major incidents, leading as incident commander, and most recently, he successfully led the Service provision to COP26. We are truly grateful for everything he has done for the Service.”

Posted on 01/01/2022