The Sir David Hay Medal was awarded for only the fourth time in 21 years this week. The Sir David Hay Medal is the top award for resuscitation and first aid and is reserved for those who have made an outstanding or lifelong contribution to resuscitation and emergency care in Aotearoa, New Zealand. The Medal is awarded at the discretion of the New Zealand Resuscitation Council and nominated by the resuscitation and emergency care fraternity. The Sir David Hay Medal has only been awarded 4 times since 1999 which is a testament to the calibre of the award. Past recipients are Dr Peter Leslie, Dr Duncan Galletly and Dr Shirley Tonkin
The Sir David Hay Medal was presented to Dr Andy Swain at a New Zealand Resuscitation Council Function on Monday 23 November in Wellington. The Chairperson of the New Zealand Resuscitation Council, Dr Richard Aickin said that Dr Swain is a “stalwart of the resuscitation community and his influence has gone far beyond New Zealand, this award is richly deserved”. Dr Swain has passionately supported education of health professional and rescuers to improve outcomes from cardiac arrests, his dedication to his work has seen Wellington Free Ambulance have one of the best survival rates from out of hospital cardiac arrests in the world.
With Aotearoa being his adopted home since 1999, the contribution that Dr Swain has made to resuscitation and emergency care in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom has been indeed outstanding and deserving of this award. Dr Swain was awarded a prestigious honorary membership of the Resuscitation Council of the United Kingdom in 2018. Dr Andy Swain is Medical Director of Wellington Free Ambulance, Associate Professor in Paramedicine at AUT, was a Clinical Lecturer in Emergency Medicine at the University of Otago Wellington until 2018, and Clinical Director of Wellington Helicopter Emergency Medical Service. Andy has been involved with ambulance services since 1985 and he led the development of community paramedicine and flight paramedicine in the Greater Wellington Region
In his acceptance speech Dr Swain spoke to what he hoped to leave as his legacy. Dr Swain has worked to impart his knowledge and passion of emergency care to future medical professionals and continues to publish and drive research on resuscitation and cardiac arrests. Dr Swain has also worked to create a National Emergency Medical Service Database which doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. “The journey continues, I am extremely honoured to receive this award, it will have pride of place in my CV, this award will mean more to me than almost anything else on my CV.”