Life­saver bids a fond farewell af­ter an ex­tra­or­di­nary 40 years

Para­medic Noel was one of the long­est serv­ing in Lon­don

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - by Alexan­der Ballinger alexan­der.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­

A NORTHOLT para­medic who is one of the long­est serv­ing in Lon­don, re­tired on Christ­mas Eve af­ter 40 years.

Noel Thomas has also worked with the same crew­mate for 30 years, which is thought to be a record.

His re­tire­ment was made ex­tra spe­cial as De­cem­ber 24 is also his birth­day.

Mr Thomas said: “I thor­oughly en­joyed my job. Re­tir­ing is ei­ther the best de­ci­sion I’ve ever made, or the worst.

“My head and body are say­ing it’s a wise de­ci­sion but my heart is say­ing dif­fer­ent.”

Mr Thomas, who lives with his wife Christine, has two sons and has also fos­tered many chil­dren over the years.

He has also helped de­liv­ered dozens of ba­bies dur­ing his ca­reer as a para­medic.

Mr Thomas added: “Cer­tain jobs you see are hor­rific and will stay with you for­ever, but when we re­sus­ci­tate some­one or a pa­tient says ‘ thank you’, that’s a feel­ing money can­not buy.

“In four days as a para­medic, you can bring in a life and be there when some­one goes; it’s like a cir­cle.”

Mr Thomas said his crew­mate Christine Money – now re­tired her­self – is one of the main rea­sons he stayed and en­joyed the job for so long.

He said: “Hav­ing a good crew­mate makes this the eas­i­est job in the world. It’s like hav­ing a friend and you sup­port each other, both in what’s go­ing on in your life and through the dif­fi­cult jobs we have to at­tend.”

Mr Thomas started his ca­reer at Park Royal am­bu­lance sta­tion Septem­ber 6, 1976 and moved to Willes­den am­bu­lance sta­tion be­fore he spend a ma­jor­ity of his ca­reer work­ing from Wem­b­ley am­bu­lance sta­tion.

He also said the most im­por­tant part of the job was treat­ing all peo­ple equally – rich, poor and ev­ery­one in be­tween.

As­sis­tant di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions for Lon­don Am­bu­lance Ser­vice, Ian Johns, said: “A 40 year ca­reer serv­ing Lon­don is an ex­tra­or­di­nary mile­stone and the Lon­don Am­bu­lance Ser­vice wishes Noel the very best in his re­tire­ment.”

RE­TIRED: Lon­don Am­bu­lance Ser­vice para­medic Noel Thomas

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