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Hospital engineer saves 50 elderly patients

19 December 2012

A hero engineer kept open a hospital caring for 50 elderly patients during a serious power outage during the terrible snow and ice of last winter.

Jon Burn, 33, from Ganton in North Yorkshire, battled for 14 hours to keep Malton Community Hospital’s generator working after power from the national grid collapsed in December 2011. During this period Jon ensured that essential medical equipment remained operational, the lights remained on and the heating didn’t turn off – potentially saving lives and preventing unnecessary suffering for the patients.

Malton Hospital provides palliative care to vulnerable people, many of whom are in their 80s and 90s. Jon, who has worked for MITIE for two and a half years, has been recognised for his dedication in a company-wide award scheme, MITIE stars. The scheme recognises and rewards people who go above and beyond in their everyday roles to provide excellent customer service.

Employees are awarded at several levels throughout the scheme and the seven finalists each received £2,500 for their achievements. Over 2,400 MITIE people were nominated for MITIE stars in 2012, but Jon’s story stood out and he was awarded £15,000 for his achievement.

On receiving the award presented by MITIE’s chief executive, Jon said: “I was just doing my job. My priority was to make sure that everyone in the hospital remained safe and their care uncompromised. If my wife or either of my two young daughters were in hospital I would want someone to do the same for them.”

Jon intends to buy a new car with the prize money.

Another finalist was Iqbal Kasmani, a MITIE security officer, who was commended for his exceptional bravery during the 2011 UK riots. Iqbal, who is just over five foot tall, put his life on the line by defending his workplace from a mob of 70 hooligans - some of whom were armed with guns and knives. He was guarding a Network Rail office in Birmingham during the riots, where 900 people usually work.

During the standoff Iqbal kept the intruders at bay by telling them the offices had nothing of value in them, barricading the doors and showing a resolve that convinced the rioters they couldn’t break in. For his professionalism and determination in preventing potential violence and damage to property, Iqbal was awarded £2,500.

Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, Chief Executive of MITIE, who presented the awards, said: “People are at the heart of MITIE, and those like Jon and Iqbal who go above and beyond every single day are what set us apart. MITIE stars is an opportunity to say thank you to those people and recognise their contribution to MITIE’s continued success.”

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