A TECHNICIAN who feared he had no choice but to leave the health service after being butted in the face while on duty clinched an accolade at this week’s South Wales Argus Health and Care Awards.

Stefan Cartwright has worked as an emergency medical technician in the Welsh Ambulance Service, based at Newport’s Bassaleg Ambulance Station, for a number of years.

And on Thursday night, he discovered that he had won the Outstanding Achievement Award – sponsored by the Rutherford Cancer Centres – at the Argus’ Health and Care Awards.

Those at the ceremony heard of Mr Cartwright’s tireless work, where he was praised for saving hundreds of lives.

But the 42-year-old’s unforgettable moment – and for all the bad reasons – occurred two years ago where he was assaulted in Newport.

“We were driving the ambulance to an incident after receiving a phone call,” he said.

“This was in August 2017 and the crash had happened in Newport.

“When we got to the scene, I saw one of the people involved in the crash walking away and I asked if he was OK. The person then rushed over and headbutted me in the face.

“It knocked me off my feet.”


The ordeal resulted in the technician questioning whether he would remain in his job.

He said: “The incident knocked my confidence really badly. I ended up having to have time off and I questioned whether I would be able to stay in the job.

“I honestly thought I was going to have to give up my job. I kept asking myself ‘why was I attacked?’

“It had an unbelievable impact on me.

“It was harrowing.”

Left shaken, Mr Cartwright then decided he needed to raise awareness to help reduce attacks on ambulance staff. He founded the Cartwright Principles, which stands for care after receiving treatment work-related injuries giving help to others, in a bid to achieve his aim.

“Since the incident I decided that I had to do something to prevent it happening to others in the medical service,” he said.

“And around about October I decided on the Cartwright Principles.

“We hope in the not-so-distant future to roll it out to other regions.

“The whole point of the principles is to promote awareness and help reduce attacks.”

And commenting on his recent award, Mr Cartwright said: “I am feeling completely overwhelmed with winning this award.

“I was shocked to be nominated and still cannot believe that I actually won.

“It is very rare that I win things.”

l See pages 4 and 5 for a full round-up of the awards.