A proud paramedic from Worksop has been rewarded for a long and successful career as an ambulanceman with a special award to mark 40 years’ service.
Brian Wilkinson started in 1976 and is still going strong as the longest-serving member of staff on a double-crewed ambulance based at the Worksop station on Gateford Road.
After being presented with a 40-year medal by the East Midlands Ambulance Service in recognition of his dedication, he looked back on his career with fondness.
“There have been many changes over the years, but I wouldn’t have done it for so long if I hadn’t enjoyed it,” said Brian, who is 63 and lives on Hemmingfield Rise. “Certain elements of the job have been upsetting, but you have to be professional and you become hardened to dealing with them.”
One of his most memorable jobs was when he helped to deliver a child for the first time. “The midwife couldn’t get there on time because of the snow, so it was a difficult situation,” he recalled. “But my training kicked in, and everything turned out fine.”
Initially, Brian worked as a technician at the Retford station, helping to transport patients to appointments, before he trained to become a fully fledged paramedic and moved to Worksop in the 1980s.
“In the early days, things were very basic,” he said. “But the service has evolved, and new techniques and innovations have come in. The training has always been very good, and I have been very pro-active in keeping up standards.”
Brian is one of about 25 personnel at the Worksop station who run two ambulances and two cars round the clock. He admits that resources can be stretched as the demand for 999 help has increased, but he is always comforted by the support of the public and the comradeship of his colleagues.
“The ambulance strike over pay and conditions in the 1980s was enlightening,” he remembered. “The help we got from the public was heartwarming and made me proud to be an ambulanceman.”
Adding merit to Brian’s service is that he has had to defy long-standing problems with his ankles, which have necessitated operations, and the revelation, five years ago, that he was dyslexic.
Now he is eyeing a well-deserved retirement when he will spend more time with his partner Jill, two daughters, Tracey and Louise, and two grandchildren.