SECAmb paramedic to leave after more than four decades service

Friday, 01 October, 2010

Andy Parr with SECAmb Chief Executive Paul Sutton.

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SECAmb) paramedic and Head of Emergency Preparedness, Andy Parr is leaving the service after 42 years.

While Andy is retiring from his position in SECAmb, he is far from hanging up his uniform as will be taking up a role in Emergency Preparedness with the ambulance service in New Zealand.

Andy first became involved with the ambulance service in 1959 when, as a St. John Ambulance Cadet, he spent most of his spare time at the ambulance station and riding out on the vehicles.

Andy joined the ambulance service in 1968 in the Hastings Ambulance Service and has enjoyed a career spanning operations, control, training and most recently emergency planning.

He qualified as an instructor in 1972, a paramedic in 1975, became a member of the Directing Staff and finally assumed responsibility for running the Directing Staff Qualifying Courses.

During his career he has represented the UK in the CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) working groups developing the European Standards for ambulance vehicles and equipment and been involved in work to develop the National Occupational Standards for ambulance staff.

Andy has travelled extensively in his career. In addition to attending numerous meetings throughout Europe in his work for CEN he went to New York following 9/11 and has attended and spoken at conferences as far afield as India, Nepal, China and Thailand.

During his service career in Emergency Planning, Andy has led on both the Emergency Dressings Packs at Main Transport Hubs, and the National Capability Mass Casualty Equipment Vehicle projects for the Department of Health. Andy is a member of the Emergency Preparedness Board.

He holds a Masters degree in Emergency Planning and Disaster Management from Hertfordshire University as well as a degree in further and Adult Education from Surrey University.
Andy still regularly responds to patients and teaches members of the public Emergency Life Support through the Save a Life Campaign.

He said: "Most people take things a little easier when they retire but I am moving to another country and continuing with another part of my career. I've seen many changes in the ambulance service over the years but the patient has always remained the most important focus of our work. I am looking forward to the adventure, but in those famous words, I'll be back."

SECAmb Chief Executive Paul Sutton said: "Andy's departure is a great loss to SECAmb. I'd like to thank him for showing such dedication and commitment over such a long career in the ambulance service. He will be greatly missed at SECAmb and throughout the UK. On behalf of SECAmb I'd like to wish him and his family every success for the future in their new life in New Zealand. Our loss is their gain."

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