Our Best – Air Engineer Mechanic Michelle Ping
Members of the Naval Service took four of the ten awards presented at the Sun Military Awards – better known as the Millies – a glittering event in London also attended by royalty and celebrities. …
Billed as ‘a night of heroes’ at the Imperial War Museum in London the fourth annual awards – endorsed by the Ministry of Defence and better known as the Millies – saw soldiers, sailors and airmen rub shoulders with royalty, military and political leaders, including Prime Minister David Cameron, and celebrities such as footballer David Beckham, Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, Little Britain’s David Walliams and Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry were guests of honour with four of the ten awards being presented to members of the Naval Service.
Undeterred by the blizzard of gunfire around her, paramedic Michelle Ping sprinted on to a roof to shield a stricken comrade and give him first aid.
The 27-year-old’s bravery and quick-thinking saved the life of critically wounded Highlander Craig Paterson who had been shot in the head.
Today Air Engineer Mechanic Ping, a paramedic with the Royal Navy Reserve, is rewarded for her courage when she is Mentioned In Despatches.
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Michelle Ping the daughter of one of Ability’s Handlings engineers (Graham Ping) received a very prestigious award at the Military Awards Gala yesterday! She was recognized as the Reservist of the Year for her bravery and dedication in saving a soldiers life whilst under fire!
Michelle who is also known as “Mother” by squaddies sprang into action after the compound was attacked and she heard: “Man down!” She jumped straight on the compound’s roof where Highlander Craig Patterson had been shot in the head whilst manning a gun post on the roof, despite the fact that the Taliban were still shooting at the roof.
She said: “I thought he was dead at first and thought, ‘How am I going to tell the boys?’ Then I remember thinking, ‘I’m not going to have this. I couldn’t hear anything, my focus was on him. I got the boys to get him down off the roof and I patched him up.’”
“We landed on the helicopters at dawn, it was like something out of the computer game, Call of Duty.
“All day long while we were there, British platoons were being shot at. In the afternoon, we went into a compound to resupply with ammunition and we then got smashed by Taliban fire for a few hours.
“Some of the boys were on the roof and one – Highlander Craig Paterson – got shot in the head.
“The other guys up there evacuated to safety and thought he was dead. I went up on the roof and all the Taliban who had been shooting at the boys turned their attentions on me. Someone had taken Craig’s helmet off and he was lying with his eyes open not moving. I thought ‘I’m not going to let you die’. I shook him and he came round.”
Michelle said that due to the trauma 22-year-old Craig had received he did not know what was happening and wanted to sit up.
She recalled: “I had to lie on top of him to stop him. Some of the boys came up and gave me a hand, and we pushed him off the rooftop into the arms of two other boys below, then we had to run with him for half a mile to a secure helicopter site so he could be evacuated.
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