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Moray & Banffshire Heroes 2024: Emergency services/armed forces hero shortlist revealed!

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Here is your shortlist for the emergency services/armed forces hero award. Voting closes on Sunday, March 24.

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PC Gemma Latter

Gemma Latter.
Gemma Latter.

Always being calm and supporting a woman with autism to feel safe is one of the reasons why PC Gemma Latter has been shortlisted for a Heroes award.

Gemma, who’s based in Elgin, worked in banking for 12 years before joining the police. Her nomination, who is regularly attended to by Gemma, said: “She is by far the best police officer ever. Gemma is so kind and gentle and knows how best to help me. I would like everyone to know what a lovely police officer she is because she deserves it. She has a heart of gold. Gemma always knows how to enter my world and take things at the right pace. It’s not often you meet someone as patient and amazing as her. She’s my hero.”

Gemma said: “It’s just so lovely to hear this type of feedback. Police training along with a lot of life experience definitely helps bring those skills out in me. Throughout my career I’ve had to find the best way to communicate to people in a way that they’ll understand and policing is no different. I know how to diffuse a tense situation and do my best. It’s really lovely to know that what I’m doing on a day to day basis is making a difference in someone’s world.”

Corinne McCrory

Corinne McCrory.
Corinne McCrory.

Holding the hands of patients and their loved ones at difficult times has nudged Banff paramedic Corinne McCrory out of the blue light and into the limelight!

Corinne, who has been a paramedic for almost three decades, is well known for delivering person-centred care to the families in her areas. As an area service manager, she looks after six stations that serve the Moray community.

Her nomination said: “Corinne does everything with great care, compassion and empathy. Nothing is too much trouble for her. She always leads by example and strives to make our community better for everyone who lives in it. She’s always the first to offer support for events that require ambulance attendance and she readily delivers educational talks within the community. You will not find a person with more drive to deliver good care to everyone who needs it!”

On hearing that she’d been shortlisted for this award Corinne said: “I am so shocked and thrilled that someone took the time to nominate me with such kind words. I don’t see myself as a hero, I’m just extremely lucky to be part of a dedicated team of professionals that works very hard in often challenging circumstances. It’s a privilege to be let into someone’s life when they are at their most vulnerable. It’s good to go home at the end of the day and feel like we made a positive difference.”

George Campbell

George Campell.
George Campell.

Affectionately known as Firefighter George to people in Lossiemouth, George Campbell has dedicated thirty years to saving lives.

He joined Grampian Fire Brigade as a retained firefighter when he was 28, and now continues to provide support to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

His nomination said: “George has given up time in the day, evening, nights and holidays to respond to 999 calls and to support individuals to improve fire safety in the home. He also actively fundraises for a firefighters charity (and other local charities). He was proactive in supporting the local community council during covid, including taking care of numerous food parcel deliveries.”

George, who runs his own health and safety business training forklift and crane drivers, said: “I was unfortunate in that I had lost two close friends at sea or in the workplace by the time I was 23 years old. I decided that I wanted to do everything I could to minimise risk and stop other people going through the same pain or loss that I did. I’m passionate about health and safety, I just do what I can to give back to the local community. I enjoy it.”

George also educates children and young people in first aid training and is a serving deacon at Lossiemouth baptist church where he is responsible for health and safety, and buildings maintenance.

Elaine Mair

Elaine Mair.
Elaine Mair.

A Buckie based Ambulance Technician says that using whatever life throws at her is her secret to happiness and success. Since childhood Elaine Mair has dreamed of working for the Ambulance Service, three-and-a-half years ago, that focus came to fruition.

Now she’s been shortlisted for an award for her dedication, hard work, care and compassion. Her nomination said: “Elaine has been through so much and doesn’t let any of it affect her bubbly, happy personality or desire to help others. Many people deserve an award and Elaine is definitely one of them. She’s one in a million!”

Elaine said: “I like a challenge. I have three children, and when my youngest daughter was nine months old, I became a single mum. I was determined to do the best for us and lead by example. I wanted my bairns to know that you can be a good mum and still go out and do a job that you love. Being an ambulance technician back then wasn’t practical, so I built up valuable experience working in a playgroup, a nursery, and a vets practice along with volunteering with The Red Cross and HM Coastguard. I also volunteer as crew on the Buckie Lifeboat and have done for the past eight years.”

She continued: “Having lived my whole life in the Buckie area, I want to pay something back to my community. Now that my bairns are grown up with a total of eight bairns of their own, (along with granny duties) it’s finally my turn to work with the Scottish Ambulance Service doing the job I have always wanted to do, being able to help people in times of crisis or in their most vulnerable moments is so rewarding.”

Addison Electrical is sponsoring the award for emergency services/armed forces hero.

Electrical manager at Addison Electrical, Colin Addison, who will present the award, said supporting Moray & Banffshire Heroes was a way to give thanks to the many real-life heroes who valiantly serve our communities: “Those who serve in the armed forces and emergency services are always the first to come to someone’s aid, and usually in very serious or even life or death situations. They go above and beyond what most people could or would do and we are very grateful and thankful to have them. This is our way of recognising their dedication and courage.”

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