JOE Garcia from Eastbourne receives the MBE for his work in the Covid pandemic.

He is South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) Director of Operations.

Joe is serving in his 36th year in the ambulance service, following a short career in the Royal Marines.

He has been instrumental in the Trust’s operational response to the coronavirus pandemic and also in SECAmb’s much-improved Care Quality Commission rating. He is due to retire in the spring.

Joe Garcia said: “I am delighted and humbled to have been recognised for the service I have been able to offer to my colleagues in what we have referred to as ‘Team SECAmb’ during this pandemic.

“My colleagues throughout all quarters of the Trust are doing an amazing job under very difficult conditions. I am also very proud of my operational leadership team. Every one of them has worked tirelessly to improve the standards for both our patients and staff in SECAmb. I has been a great honour to be able to say I was part of this team.”