AUSTRALIA’S most-trusted professionals were yesterday recognised for their work as the region marked Thank a Paramedic Day.
Six local paramedics were honoured for long service and service to the community, being awarded national medals and long-service and good-conduct medals – New England region zone manager Tim Collins, Tamworth South paramedics Kristy Emery and Lisa Mackay, Glen Innes paramedic Kerry Trow, Manilla paramedic Robert Wales and Namoi zone duty operations manager Ray Tait.
Mr Collins has served for 23 years and held a range of positions, including district officer, operations manager, assistant divisional manager and acting control centre manager, before becoming the zone manager.
For Mr Tait, this year marks 40 years of service.
“Ambos don’t do things to get a pat on the back, they do it because they love what they do, they do it because they want to be a part of their community and they do it because they want to support their colleagues,” Mr Tait said.
Mrs Emery has been in the job for 11 years and Tamworth for five of those, having arrived here after working in Boggabri and Sydney.
“It feels good, it’s nice to be recognised for what you do,” she said.
Glen Innes has been the home of Mrs Trow for 22 of the 24 years she has been in the service.
She works as an intensive care paramedic, a highly skilled position that sees her attend the more acute and urgent situations. Mr Wales, an intensive care paramedic, has been in the service since 1976 and works in Manilla, having served around the New England, Goodooga and Junee throughout his career.
Mrs Mackay started in Tamworth in 1988 and returned to the city three years ago, having worked at different stations. She said she realised how much she loved her job was when she was still training and she kept alive a man who had stopped breathing, a feeling that was “like nothing else”.
Her passion has even inspired her 15-year-old son, Lachlan, who hopes to enter the medical field himself and become a doctor or paramedic.
Director of regional operations, Assistant Commissioner Mark Beesley, said people trusted paramedics because they were one of the few professions that dealt with people when they were completely disarmed, providing reassurance and taking control.
Paramedics repaid trust by acting professionally and treating people with dignity, he said.
Tamworth was just one of two locations in NSW to host a ceremony to formally acknowledge paramedics for their work.