A STUDENT paramedic's cool head and determination to help a couple facing a mental health crisis has earned her an award.

Amy O'Hara, from Ferryhill, County Durham, has been named the North East Ambulance Service Student of the Year.

Paramedic Adam Higginbottom nominated the 24-year-old for the NEAS’s Beyond the Call of Duty Awards, after she worked alongside him on four night shifts.

One incident in particular, a female patient in mental health crisis out of hours, stood out as she recognised that A&E was not the best place for the patient and contacted a number of teams until she found the right professional health care for her patient.

Recognising the patient’s husband was also struggling, she ensured he got extra support.

Miss O'Hara, who works for NEAS and studies paramedic science at the University of Sunderland, said: "I didn't feel like I did anything special, I was just doing my job as other people would. Being a paramedic has always been my dream."

"I joined the North East Ambulance Service as an Emergency Care Assistant in 2015, and gained experience out on the road working with a paramedic as part of a crew.

"I knew then that being a paramedic was the right job for me."

Mr HIgginbottom was impressed with how Amy handled the situation, particularly that she saw the whole job through without giving up and passing the job on to the senior paramedic.

The Student of the Year award recognises a rising star within the NHS, someone who shows clear potential for the future.

NEAS chief executive Yvonne Ormston said: “Our employees make a difference, day in, day out, and our Beyond the Call of Duty Awards are our chance to take the time to recognise the amazing work of the truly remarkable team here at the North East Ambulance Service.

“Amy, like all of our worthy winners, truly embodies our values of responding to the needs of individuals and treating patients and colleagues with compassion, care, dignity and respect.

"She has a bright career ahead of her and we look forward to welcoming her back fulltime as a paramedic when she qualifies.”