LIFESAVING Sheffield paramedic Michelle Ping is celebrating a fourth award for her service in Afghanistan where she saved the life of a wounded soldier while under fire from the Taliban.
Michelle, aged 38, from Dungworth, is the only member of the Royal Navy Reserves to be awarded the Queen's Volunteer Reserves Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. It follows a Mention in Despatches for gallantry, an honour at The Sun’s Millies military awards, where she rubbed shoulders with Princes William and Harry, and her campaign medal for Afghanistan, presented by the Duchess of Cornwall.
Hearing she had been awarded the QVRM, handed to only 13 military reservists each year for exemplary conduct, Michelle said: “I am chuffed to bits. All my family are gobsmacked.”
Having already met so many members of the royal family, which also include Princess Anne, proud father Graham hopes Michelle will now get to meet the Queen.
Air Engineer Mechanic Michelle’s day job is with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service. But her role as a Royal Navy reservist saw her posted to Afghanistan last summer, working as a paramedic attached to foot patrols. She has previously served in Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia.
Former Earl Marshal School pupil Michelle saved injured Scottish soldier, Highlander Craig Paterson, 22, while under fire in Helmand.
She said: “I just ran to look after him. I thought, ‘I’m not going to let you die’.”
A Royal Navy spokesman said: “‘Mich’ has won many friends for her courage, gritty wit and mischievous charm whilst being awarded plaudits from commanding officers for outstanding results.”