This year, the International Association of Flight and Critical Care Paramedics (IAFCCP) has awarded the 2019 Tim Hynes Award to Steve Whitfield of Griffith University School of Medicine – Paramedicine in Queensland, Australia.
The IAFCCP is an independent paramedic association focusing on specialty care paramedicine. The Time Hynes Award was previously known as the ‘Flight Paramedic of the Year Award’, but changed its name after founding member of the IACFCCP, Tim Hynes, lost his life, along with his crew, when their helicopter crashed during a mission in 1998. The award honours Hyne’s spirit and contribution to the profession, while recognising exemplary abilities in leadership, education and safety within the paramedic profession.
Whitfield has been a paramedic involved in ground and flight transport in Australia and internationally for over eight years – currently, he works as a clinical educator, lecturer and clinical advisor to several emergency prehospital organisations. He has spent much of his time volunteering as a relief flight paramedic in Fiji and a humanitarian medic team leader in Nepal, Mongolia, Sinai, Botswana, Vanuatu and the Arctic.
Whitfield founded The Wild Medic Project following the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal. The project provides frontline medical and educational clinics in remote areas where access to basic healthcare is limited and provides shared experiences between local communities and humanitarian medical teams. The clinics are now all self-sufficient and employ local staff through the educational programmes that Wild Medic teams offer.
Whitfield has also contributed to a number of paramedic publications, and, in addition to his many other degrees, diplomas and certificates, he is currently completing a Master of Public Health (remote and polar medicine).
The presentation of the Tim Hynes Award was made during the CCTMC in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 16 April. Whitfield is the 21st recipient of the prestigious award and is without a doubt extremely deserving of the honour it bestows.