The heroes who fought to save Mary Shipstone

Mary Shipstone and her mum Lyndsey
Mary Shipstone and her mum Lyndsey

A paramedic from Hastings and a police officer who risked their lives to help seven-year-old Mary Shipstone after she had been shot by her father in Northiam are to receive an award for their actions.

Hastings paramedic Chris Matthews and Sgt Kendal Wells were among emergency workers called to the scene after the youngster had been shot in the head by her father outside her Spring Hill home last September.

It is important that we recognise the achievements and dedication of staff who continue to provide an outstanding service to the public

Paul Sutton

Despite the scene being cordoned off and an armed response unit yet to arrive, the pair risked their safety and fought to stabilise Mary before she was taken to a London hospital by air ambulance.

Chris Matthews is now in line for an Above and Beyond the Call of Duty award at the South East Coast Ambulance (Secamb) awards event next week.

Sgt Wells has been given a commendation by the ambulance trust’s chief executive Paul Sutton.

Mr Sutton said: “When you get a call to attend a job involving a child who has suffered a traumatic injury, you are going to pull out all the stops and do what you can.

This is exactly what paramedic Chris Matthews and Sgt Wells, from Sussex Police, did when they were assigned to a call where a seven-year-old girl had been shot.”

Mr Matthews said: “When we arrived the police were advising us to keep back until they were sure the scene was safe, however, it was clear that this young girl was going to need our help and we needed to do something.”

He added: “It was a difficult scene. Sgt Kendal’s help was invaluable. I could not have done what I had to do without him.”

Trust clinical operations manager Tim Fellows said: “Carrying out this difficult and highly skilled procedure was very challenging.

“They both did a fantastic job with no thought of their own personal safety.”

Mr Matthews said: “I am glad we took the decision to go in because what we were able to do is give this young girl’s mother a chance to say goodbye to her daughter.”

Mr Sutton said: “I always find our awards evenings very humbling.

“It is important that we recognise the achievements and dedication of staff who continue to provide an outstanding service to the public.”