A Lutterworth Ambulance Station paramedic has been honoured for his 50 years’ dedication to the service.
Keith Thrower, of Dunton Bassett, joined the ambulance service as a 20-year-old but said it was a career he wanted to pursue since he was 13.
The 70-year-old said: “My next door neighbour was an ambulance driver and I used to see him go to work, and I think I said, more or less, ‘I’d like that job!’”
Since starting, Keith hasn’t looked back, and he has some interesting stories that have stuck in his mind from over the years.
One was being first on the scene to find the M1 strewn with military vehicles after the transporter carrying them crashed through a motorway barrier in June 2003.
Another is a more light-hearted tale from several years ago when he responded to a woman that had crashed.
The driver was fine but when Keith asked why there was water everywhere, she explained there had been a goldfish bowl between her legs.
They managed to find the fish, which shot out of the bowl during impact, and placed it in some water.
Amazingly, it survived.
Father-of-two Mr Thrower said he has loved his career so far and added: “I have never thought of doing anything else, even if I have moaned at times.
“It is not very often that people get to do the job they’ve always wanted to do for their whole life.
“We like to think we help people the best we can, help them and make the patients feel comfortable.
“But we also like to think that we are there for the families as well.”
Many things have changed since Keith started his job, especially the technology.
He explained that defibrillators were not on board when he first joined, but he is certain they have saved many lives since being introduced.
He added: “The way vehicles are built and the technologies they use have changed a lot.
“We may have gone to an accident 50 years ago and somebody would have died.
“But now, with all the safety features on a car, they are now more likely to survive”
Mr Thrower was presented with his long service award by East Midlands Ambulance Service at its annual awards ceremony recently.