End of an era

Friday, 21 May, 2010

Steve Lane and Derek Cartwright (in Green)

Steve Lane with Gordon Rostron - They did their first ever shifts for LAS together in 1980

A dedicated emergency worker has bidden farewell to his colleagues after serving more 30 years with the ambulance service in Lancashire.

Steve Lane, from St Annes, Lancashire, was Head of Occupational Learning, at North West Ambulance Service until he retired today [21st May">.

Steve was recruited by Lancashire Ambulance Service in January 1980, working from Lytham Ambulance Station. There was no such thing as a paramedic in those days so he was taken on as an ambulance man. Soon progressing through the frontline service into education and training, Steve has accomplished many notable things in his career.

Developing ambulance staff into paramedics, he introduced one of the first work based training programmes in the country following the NVQ format - this was adopted by many other services and is now part of ambulance training strategies nationally.

After pioneering work with the British Heart Foundation, Steve secured funding and developed the first community first responders in Lancashire, based in Burscough. NWAS now has almost 1500 volunteer responders who are dispatched to life threatening incidents everyday.

Not only is Steve a qualified Ambulance Aid Instructor he is also a qualified Ambulance Driving Instructor and nationally, he has worked on projects both with the Institute of Health Care Development and the Health Professions Council.

Speaking of his time in the ambulance service, Steve said: "When I first started the job I said I'd never put in for promotion because I loved what I was doing so much. I have never had a Monday morning feeling and have thoroughly enjoyed my role in the ambulance service, teaching ambulance staff and members of the public to save lives. I consider that I have been very lucky to have had such an enjoyable and fulfilling career and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in caring for others.

"I have mixed emotions upon leaving, but many happy memories of my involvement with the development of the paramedic role and other life saving initiative across Lancashire and the North West of England such as the First Responder initiative.

"My happiest memories are the many patients that I have met throughout my career and the friends and colleagues I have had the pleasure of working with."

When asked what he'll do with the extra time on his hands, Steve commented: "I enjoy oil painting and intend to spend more time riding my Harley Davidson motorcycle. My wife and I also enjoy growing our own vegetables on our allotment. I also enjoy going for an occasional jog along the promenade."

Director of Emergency Services at NWAS, Derek Cartwright said: "Steve is one of the last true gentlemen we have in the Service. His door is always open to anyone and his guidance and measured advice been the turning point in many peoples careers. He always places the Service before himself. He has quietly got on with things and never sought the adoration and praise that some others demand. Training in the Service has progressed and hundreds of staff have benefitted through Steve's diligence and forward thinking."

Steve is married to Lynne with three grown up children and four grandchildren. A celebratory presentation took place last week where he was presented with a long service shield and vouchers for B&Q and Harley Davidson worth £200, bought with donations from colleagues.

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