THE Pride of Gwent Awards ceremony is only a few days away.

One of the winners is the Joint Response Unit (JRU), a partnership between the Welsh Ambulance Service and Gwent Police. They have won the Pride of Gwent Special Recognition Award.

The partnership is helping to save lives while freeing up valuable resources.

Under the scheme, a paramedic and a special constable carry out shifts covering the Aneurin Bevan Health Board area, self-selecting appropriate 999 incidents.

This means ambulance crews who would normally attend can respond to potentially life-threatening emergencies elsewhere and police officers are freed up to work on other cases.

Gareth Owen, special chief inspector, said: “The members of the JRU are extremely proud and also humbled to be receiving this award.

“Being the first unit of its kind that combines Special Constables with Paramedics it is great to not only be making a difference for Gwent Police officers and Welsh Ambulance Crews, but also, most importantly, the members of the public it serves.

“Members of the Special Constabulary are all volunteer officers giving up their free time to run this unit, and we’ve developed a very close relationship with the Welsh Ambulance Service Paramedics that we work with – seeing the positive outcomes each weekend from the unit running is a reward in itself but formally being recognised with this award just tops it off.”

This isn’t the first time the partnership has been awarded for its groundbreaking work.

Mr Owen said: “A few members of the unit have received individual awards for their work in setting up the service, but for us to be recognised as a complete unit is perhaps most important of all, as it better represents one of the core values of the JRU – teamwork.

“An award of this kind will always help to motivate the team, but it also helps to promote the unit, and awareness of who we are and what we do is extremely important for us to continue to be successful.”

Members of the JRU will receive an award at the Pride of Gwent ceremony which is being held on Friday at the Coldra Court Hotel.

At the awards the overall Pride of Gwent winner for 2018 will be announced.

To find out more about the awards and the winners, visit