THE FORMER chairman of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (MAAC) has been awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
Brendan Connor, who is from Solihull and lives in Coventry, was presented with the accolade for voluntary and charitable services to the community in the West Midlands.
He held the chairmanship of the charity for seven years, up until 2018, joining not long after the organisation became independent from the NHS.
During his time there the MAAC purchased two new state-of-the-art Eurocopter helicopters and raised more than £10million every year to fund the service from its three airbases at RAF Cosford in Shropshire, Strensham in Worcestershire and Tatenhill in Staffordshire.
Hanna Sebright, chief executive of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: “It was a challenging yet rewarding transition period and his strategic guidance from that point led us to become a strong and robust pre-hospital service, delivering advanced clinical care at the incident scene to thousands of people in critical need each year.
“I am thrilled his immeasurable contribution to our service and several other deserving causes has been recognised in such a formal way, it is thoroughly deserved.”
On receiving the news, Mr Connor said he was delighted with the honour which came as a ‘great surprise’.
“Being chair of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity was an enormous privilege and honour – but the provision of the service to those in dire need could not be sustained without the boundless generosity of the wider Midlands communities every year.
“However, the community of the West Midlands should be equally proud of its fundraising efforts which kept the service flying and saved so many lives every year.
“Long may it continue!”
2021 marks Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s ‘Air30’ 30th anniversary, and since its inception in 1991 the pilots, advanced critical care paramedics and pre-hospital emergency medicine doctors have undertaken over 62,000 missions via air ambulances and critical care cars.
Brendan’s other roles
Mr Connor also helps oversee the running of West Midlands Police as one of a small team working alongside the Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure the force is well-run and accountable for the public.
Mr Connor is also a serving magistrate and trustee of several charities.
Having previously run large engineering firms in our region and the Formula One giant – Cosworth Racing – Brendan’s role at the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity was a perfect fit.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Over a number of years Brendan has dedicated a huge amount of time helping me hold West Midlands Police to account.
“What I admire about Brendan is his forensic approach to work, his attention to detail and the fact he doesn’t shy away from asking the tough questions that are sometimes needed to drive improvements within an organisation.
“I’d like to place on record my gratitude to Brendan and congratulate him for on receiving an OBE.”