A DALGETY BAY dad who came to the NHS' rescue at the outbreak of coronavirus has been recognised in the Queen's Honours list.

Paul Mackean responded to a call for help and, along with two other Babcock Rosyth colleagues, made sure 500 frontline health staff were fitted with respiratory protective equipment so they could be protected.

Their skills helped NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde as well as NHS Lothian in the early months of the outbreak before the army could take over.

It was a shock of a lifetime for Paul, who found out he has been awarded a British Empire Medal by the Cabinet Office just a few weeks ago.

The 35-year-old, who is head of laboratories for Babcock Rosyth, told the Press: "It was unprecedented that the NHS needed so many protective masks and it just so happened that we had the skills to help fit face-masks.

"It's a legal requirement in our industry for people who work with asbestos and radiation and when we saw an email explaining that Glasgow was struggling we knew we had to volunteer.

"It was a bit of an overwhelming experience working with the NHS staff who were just working 24-7.

"We had intensive care nurses coming in to be fitted who had just been doing back-to-back shifts, their faces were all bruised from the equipment and they were bursting into tears talking about the patients they had lost.

"It was heartbreaking.

"It was hard going out when everyone was shielding indoors and I was worried about keeping my family safe.

"I would strip off at the door and be straight into a hot shower to make sure I was not bringing anything in but we knew we had to do our part to make sure people were safe."

Father-of-three Paul was nominated for his medal by managing director Sean Donaldson but says it was a "team effort".

He was joined by his colleagues, Bruce Vivers and Suzanne Rae, to carry out the face-fit testing.

"We got some credit from our company at the time for volunteering but never expected anything like this," Paul said, who has worked for 12 years at Babcock.

"It was my name that was put forward but it was a team effort and I'm accepting it on their behalf so I feel a bit embarrassed and humbled at the same time!

"It was very strange receiving an email from the Cabinet Office and at first I thought: 'What the heck is this?'!

"It's been quite difficult trying to keep my six-year-old daughter, Lily, quiet for the last few weeks though but she's finally allowed to tell her friends now!

"It was never about getting recognised though – we just saw that we could help and we wanted to.

"It was about everyone pulling together and doing what they could."

Several other outstanding citizens from across West Fife were also recognised on the honours list, which, traditionally, marks the Queen's second birthday but was delayed due to coronavirus.

Agnes Cook, from Kelty, has been honoured for services to the community in Kinross during COVID-19 and Kirsten Urquhart, from Limekilns for services to Young People in Scotland, during the pandemic.

Scottish Police College estates supervisor Thomas Kenny, from Kincardine, also received a British Empire Medal for services to policing and the community in Tulliallan.

Tom Kenny has been employed by Police Scotland for more than 30 years and as well as working at Tulliallan, is a local resident who has a strong belief in community spirit. He often gives up his free time to work extended hours to ensure the smooth running of the site and has identified new ways to develop the relationship between the college and the community.

Tom said: “I was humbled and quietly honoured, especially given someone has put me forward for this.

"Around me are many hard-working colleagues who also put in the extra effort so to be recognised is quite special.”