Dr Theo Weston, founder of BEEP Doctors (BASICS) Cumbria, has been presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the British Association for Immediate Care.

It recognised that Dr Weston launched the Cumbria group 30 years ago, had served as its chair, and has been an active responder ever since.

Living near Penrith, Dr Weston celebrated his commitment to the people of Cumbria at a grand ceremony during the BASICS annual conference.

“I am completely bowled over and really honoured and humbled to receive this award,” said Dr Weston. “It means such a lot to me and I am really proud to have received it.”

Dr Weston is one of 12 devoted volunteers who compose BEEP Doctors, working diligently, providing advance pre-hospital emergency care around the clock.

BEEP Doctors are trained to administer advanced treatments, providing critical interventions such as surgical procedures and pre-hospital anaesthetics.

Originally founded as the BEEP Fund in 1984, the agency stemmed from Dr Weston's mission to expand the scope of emergency services across the county.

The charity has since grown from a small Penrith based initiative into a robust outfit that covers the entirety of Cumbria.

“We rely 100 per cent on charitable donations,” said Dr Weston, highlighting recent funding from Sellafield's Social Impact Fund, and from organisations including Rotary and the Freemasons.

“We now have three response vehicles and every doctor has blue lights and sirens fitted to their own cars.”

Dr Weston attends two to three calls each week, alongside administrative responsibilities and engaging with the community through presentations and talks.

He said: “I do it primarily because of the huge joy and reward to see people arriving at hospital in a better condition than they would otherwise have been in.

“There have been cases where people might not have made it to hospital if we had not been there, or they would have been in even more of a poorly state which would have affected them for the rest of their lives.

“In around 2020 a farmer at Gamblesby ended up 90 per cent chopping off his left forearm in a silage machine. I attended and was able to reposition the arm into where it should be, splint it and gave him some serious pain relief he would not have been able to have otherwise.

"I escorted him in the ambulance to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary where the forearm was reattached and he made an almost complete recovery and can still work on the farm.”

The doctor's career also encompasses roles such as one of the regular Helicopter Emergency Medical Service doctors for the Great North Air Ambulance and major incident response team of the North West Air Ambulance, attending emergencies like the Manchester bombing and Grayrigg train derailment.

Dr Weston was awarded an MBE in 2015 for his services to emergency medical care.

This year alone, the BEEP Doctors (BASICS) Cumbria charity has attended 243 incidents and members have clocked 822 volunteering hours.