A St John ambulance officer in Russell has been recognised in this year's Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.
Paramedic (and former Russell station manager) Peter Waskowsky was runner-up in the Health Care Provider Service category, which acknowledges the outstanding contributions of inspirational individuals or teams of volunteers to a health care provider in New Zealand.
Waskowsky said he was deeply humbled.
"We have a fantastic team of St John volunteers in Russell, and it's a privilege to work alongside them to be there for our community in their time of need," he added.
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The awards are designed to recognise the thousands of unsung heroes who have demonstrated excellence in New Zealand's health and disability services, meeting local, regional and national needs, and promoting effective care and support of those in need.
St John Far North territory manager Leigh Knightbridge described Waskowsky, who signed up as a volunteer ambulance officer in 2004, qualified as a paramedic, and held the role of volunteer station manager from 2008 until March this year, as a popular and charismatic figure.
"Peter has been an outstanding leader for St John ambulance in the isolated community of Russell," she said.
"He leads by example and relates extremely well to people from all walks of life. Russell is a very diverse community, with a multitude of different nationalities and cultures making up the population. Peter has gone above and beyond with his passion to provide the best service possible for the community... over the past 16 years.
"In addition to his valuable work on the frontline, he ensures that the rest of the crews receive a high standard of training. He continually recruits new volunteers, and readily passes on his knowledge and experience.
"Peter also ensures the crew has the best equipment, through fundraising efforts, and does his utmost to fill the volunteer roster, giving many thousands of volunteer hours himself."
The award would be presented at a "special event" in Russell in December.