THE courage of a paramedic has been honoured in a special ceremony at the House of Lords.

Corwen-based Mark Timmins, who dived into the raging River Dee to rescue a drowning man, is the Ambulance Services Institute Paramedic of the Year.

He was at the annual ASI ceremony at the Palace of Westminster to receive the prestigious awards from Baroness Browning of Whimple.

Last September Mark was travelling through Llangollen with Brian Rhone when they were alerted to two people in the River Dee near the Chain Bridge Hotel.

At the riverbank they found a young boy had been pulled out and was being treated by a doctor.

But his father was still in the middle of the river and struggling to stay afloat.

With the fire service boat rescue 20 minutes away, Mark decided to go in to reach the man.

He said: “I told a fireman to tie the rope around my waist and in I went. The man was now just losing consciousness as his head was bobbing down and nearly going under.

“When I got to him I shouted at him and shook him to stimulate him. I then pulled him on to me.

“I was then lying on my back and held him up by his belt with one hand and under his head with the other.

“I then shouted to the bank to haul the rope in and get us out.”

Once Mark and the patient reached the side, the father received treatment for severe hypothermia and was rushed with his son to Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Mark, from Ruthin, has already received a Royal Humane Society Testimonial as well as a bravery award from North Wales Police and a special outstanding service award from his Welsh Ambulance Service colleagues in Conwy and Denbighshire.

He said he considered the accolades a tribute to the team effort of the ambulance service and added: “Would I do the same again? Too right I would!”

North Wales Air Ambulance paramedic team leader Ian Binnington, who presented the Welsh Ambulance Service award to Mark, said: “Mark’s actions that day prevented a tragedy unfolding.

“We have flown together for many years so it didn’t surprise me when I heard what he had done.”