Paramedic John helps to make our city’s streets safer

WINNER Dr Jeanette Bartholomew with John Cross.  (113306-4102)
WINNER Dr Jeanette Bartholomew with John Cross. (113306-4102)

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ALCOHOL-related incidents are a major problem in Portsmouth.

But paramedic John Cross is helping to make the streets safer.

He works with people who have got into trouble with the police to educate them on the dangers of excessive drinking.

And that’s why he walked away as the winner of the Ambulance Worker of the Year at this year’s Best of Health Awards.

John, who works as a community health practitioner for South Central Ambulance Service, is based in Eastern Road, Portsmouth.

He said: ‘I was amazed when my name was read out.

‘It’s not often that I’m speechless but on this occasion I was.

‘It was a real honour to be nominated at first, but an even bigger honour to have won.’

Not only does John work the challenging night shift in the Guildhall Walk area of Portsmouth, but he goes to help people by giving alcohol advice to those in police custody.

His efforts help make a difference in the city and stop people harming themselves through drink.

‘I go in and talk to people because I hope it stops them getting into a similar situation again,’ added John.

‘I go into the cells in the morning and talk to people about alcohol issues.

‘I can provide them with help and support, which targets the level of requirement they need.

‘I like doing my job and it’s a real honour to be recognised for it.’

John, 54, was nominated by the general manager of city centre nightclub Liquid & Envy, Bill Dearsley, who described him as ‘a man who works far beyond his remit as an ambulance worker’.

Runner up in the category was Ian Hutfield.

He was put forward for his work reducing waiting times of patients in the emergency department at Queen Alexandra Hospital.