Paul to retire after 43 years
ESSEX s longest serving emergency technician has announced he is to retire after 43 years in the job. Paul Holmes, 64, who works from the Dunmow ambulance station in Chelmsford Road, took the decision in order to recuperate from an operation and will cele
ESSEX's longest serving emergency technician has announced he is to retire after 43 years in the job.
Paul Holmes, 64, who works from the Dunmow ambulance station in Chelmsford Road, took the decision in order to recuperate from an operation and will celebrate with a party with colleagues in April.
Mr Holmes started his long career in ambulance control in September 1961, when Essex County Council ran the service.
"Back in those days you only needed a First Aid certificate to join, so I went on a three-day course at Marconis in Chelmsford spread over three weeks and passed," he said.
"I was then the youngest to start on the road because I was 20-years-old."
Since then, he has attended countless incidents, and his work has varied between patient transport, day work and shift work.
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He spent most of his career at Chelmsford station, but worked the last decade or so at Dunmow.
What has struck Mr Holmes the most during his career is the modern equipment used by staff.
"You can't really compare it to when I first started," he said. "We automatically put neck collars on people now as a precaution, which never used to happen.
"Also, when I started out there were no back rests or carry chairs - we just had to lift people on board the ambulances."
Of his long career and colleagues, he said: "To me it's been about comradeship; they always said if you needed a job done ask the ambulance service.
"It's quite frightening to think it's been nearly 44 years; it scares me when you think someone can do a job for that long!"
After he retires, Paul plans to work part-time for a DIY store as well as help with the housework when wife Dawn is out at work.