Prince William visits Dockhead Fire Station in London
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Prince William was left stunned as he heard the stories of emergency responders at the Who Cares Wins awards. The Duke of Cambridge said he was “so proud” of those in attendance at the ceremony, who were recognised for having gone above and beyond to help people in need.
In particular, William spoke about heroism, duty and facing fear when praising the recipients of the 999 Heroes award, paramedics Deena Evans and Michael Hipgrave.
Ms Evans, a 40-year-old mother-of-three, was stabbed twice in the chest during a routine call-out as a member of the West Midlands Ambulance Service.
During the aggression, Mr Hipgrave, 52, was stabbed in the back as he bravely stepped forward to protect his colleague.
They have now returned to active duty on the frontline and yesterday attended the awards at London’s Roundhouse.
William hailed their heroism as he gave them the award.
He said: “Every day our emergency services deal with high-pressured, challenging situations.
“When most of us would, quite naturally, turn away and seek safety, our emergency responders rise to the occasion – running straight towards the danger to provide vital and often life-saving support.
“Very modestly, they will tell you that this does not make them heroes, and it is all done in the name of duty.
“But sometimes a situation will occur that tests the resolve of even the most experienced responder.
“In times like these, they must face their deepest fears and find the most astonishing level of courage to overcome the obstacles in front of them. And that is truly heroic.
“The winners of this award faced just such a situation, but I am delighted to say they survived and are here this evening.”
Prior to the ceremony, the Duke met the pair at a reception, during which he had the chance to hear more about their distressing experience.
Showing a keen interest in their story, William asked Ms Evans and Mr Hipgrave: “Did you get much support afterwards?
Proper support? If you don’t get that space to deal with it, it can linger.
“It’s quite scary. Did the guy go to jail?
“It’s very impressive, the way you’re all here in spite of everything you’ve had to deal with. Thank goodness you’ve got each other.”
At the event – hosted by The Sun and attended also by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and footballer David Beckham among other celebrities – William had the chance to speak to other award recipients, including eight-year-old Lucas Palmer who saved his four-year-old brother’s life after he fell into a freezing cold river.
Prince William told the brave boy: “It must have been very scary for you.
“You’re a very very brave boy, it’s very impressive. Well done you guys, I’m so glad you’re all ok.”
Prince William worked full-time as an air ambulance pilot between 2015 and 2017.
During the awards, he recalled flying with Captain Shaun Rose, a pilot with Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) team hailed for rescuing a Highlands walker who “died seven times” during the flight to hospital.
The Duke of Cambridge said he misses his flying days, adding they were “good fun”.
He then heard from Captain Rose about the time he had to resuscitate with a defibrillator a donkey who had got too close to his helicopter.
William quipped: “no mouth-to-mouth though?”
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