FOR over 40 years he has been helping to save the lives of Bassetlaw residents.
Stephen Merrick has dedicated the last 44 years of his life to the Notts and East Midlands Ambulance Service.
And to show their gratitude and thanks for all his hard work, colleagues held a surprise retirement party for the ambulance technician.
“It was a real surprise, “said Stephen, 63.
“There were colleagues there who I worked with when I first started and those that I worked with recently.”
Stephen volunteered with St John Ambulance when he was just a boy of 10.
When he was old enough he joined the ambulance service aged 18, where he worked as a cadet until he turned 21.
“I did a range of ambulance duties. It is the same duties as a normal ambulance technician. I was just called a cadet because I was younger.”
During his four decade career, based at Worksop Ambulance Station, Stephen became a well known figure in the communities around Bassetlaw.
He was awarded a long service medal and a Queen’s Jubilee medal for commitment to the service.
“I have always worked at Worksop Ambulance Station,” he said.
“You could count on one hand how many shifts I have had sick off work and still have spare fingers.”
“I just love it and have enjoyed it all.”
“I have enjoyed my whole time there, right from starting up to my retirement.”
“Probably my most enjoyable time was when I was on the Rapid Response cars.”
To mark his retirement, colleagues organised a 1960s Notts Ambulance to pick Stephen up from his home and take him to his party at the ambulance station on Gateford Road.
He received a certificate and plaque for his outstanding service, and was also presented with an engraved watch from his colleagues.
During his career Stephen continued his work with St John Ambulance, gaining the rank of a divisional officer.
His work with the first aid charity will continue during his retirement along with his role as a governor at Valley School.
He added: “I’ve been keeping myself busy since my retirement so haven’t had time to miss it.”
“I’ve done quite a bit with St John’s and quite a bit with the school as well.”
Colleague Mick Fong said: “We all wish him all the very best in his retirement.”