3 local ambulance men celebrate 106 years of public service
Three Oxfordshire ambulance men retired in July 2012 from South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust with 106 years combined service to the local community. Tony Ledger, Graham Skinner and Colin Parkinson worked for the local ambulance service for 49 years, 37 years and 20 years respectively.
Tony Ledger started work aged 15 years in the saw mill at the Cowley car plant machining wood for the Austin Princess and Morris Minor. His sights set on a career in the military he left aged 21 years to join the Oxfordshire Ambulance Service in 1964, where he planned to stay for a just a year before joining the forces. Tony worked responding to 999 emergency medical calls for over 30 years, many of them as an ambulance technician before transferring to the Patient Transport Service as an ambulance care assistant. For the last few years Tony has worked 2 days a week for the trust as an ambulance car driver. Tony has given 49 years service to the local ambulance service.
Tony Ledger said:
'Over 49 years I've attended just about every type of medical emergency you can imagine. I am proud of the citation I received from The Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire for my actions at a nasty road traffic accident, but my fondest memories will be of the companionship and support from colleagues I have enjoyed in the ambulance service, and of the countless patients I have met over the years. Just today I met with a woman in my local park whose life I saved 30 years ago.'
Graham Skinner spent 9 years as a Marine Commando and 6 years at the Cowley car plant before joining Oxfordshire Ambulance Service in 1975 where he worked for 25 years, many of them as a paramedic, before transferring to the Patient Transport Service in 1995 Graham retired in July 2012 aged 73 years after 37 years service with the local ambulance service.
Graham Skinner said:
'I've always loved talking to old people because all of them have a story to tell. During my career I've met a Dambuster, a special agent, even people who fought in the trenches in WW1. Meeting people and chatting to them takes their mind of their injuries. The service has come a long way since I started with them. Then it was a case of scoop and run, blankets and triangular bandages. Now the ambulance service is a well equipped and highly skilled mobile health provider.'
Colin Parkinson worked as a Fireman and HGV driver and at Rover Cowley before joining Oxfordshire Ambulance Service's Patient Transport Service in 1993 as an Ambulance Care Assistant. Colin retired in July 2012 after 20 years service.
Colin Parkinson said:
'Every day working for the ambulance service is different and that's what I loved about it. That and the fact I was out and about meeting people and helping them. Things don't always go according to plan. One day I was asked to collect a patient from the Manzil Centre in Oxford and to take him back to his home in Watlington. He got his coat and didn't say a word the entire journey. We arrived at the address and the lady who answered the door said 'that's not my husband.' I asked the patient if he was the lady's husband and he said 'no.' I asked him where he lived and he replied 'Florence Park.' When I asked him why he didn't say anything during the journey he replied 'I don't get out a lot and I was enjoying the ride.'
Doug Sinclair, Head of SCAS' Patient Transport Service said:
'These 3 long serving members of staff will be sorely missed by staff and in particular by patients. When you consider the patients they have moved over the years the numbers must run into the thousands. SCAS is losing 3 characters from the service and I wish them well in their retirement.'
Published 28 August 2012