An ambulance service stalwart is celebrating a half-century of saving lives in North Wales.
Fifty years ago today, on 08 June 1970, an 18-year-old Barry Davies from Drury, Flintshire, joined the ambulance service inspired by a childhood in the St John Ambulance Cadets.
Barry, now 68, began his career as an Ambulance Technician and has seen the organisation evolve from a small-scale local operation to Wales’ national ambulance service.
He now works for the Trust’s Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service, based in Wrexham.
Barry said: “I joined the St John Ambulance Cadets when I was 12, so going on to work for the ambulance service was a natural progression.’
“Back then you were an ‘ambulance man’ and you did everything; the emergencies, the non-urgent hospital transfers and everything in between.’
“Eventually, I went off to Wrenbury in Cheshire to do my Ambulance Technician training and that’s how I spent my first 30 years in the service, based out of Flint Ambulance Station.’
“The call that stands out in my mind is the time we delivered a baby in a card shop in Flint.’
“You see everything in this job – nothing surprises me anymore!”
In 2007, Barry transferred to Mold Ambulance Station and was one of the first to join the Trust’s new High Dependency Service, now known as the Urgent Care Service.
He later joined the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service as an Ambulance Care Assistant having retired briefly and returned to the organisation.
Barry said: “I’ve watched our ambulance service evolve from Clwyd Ambulance Service to the North Wales Ambulance Service to the Welsh Ambulance Service it is today.’
“When I look back, I feel immensely proud. It’s absolutely flown by but I have such fond memories.”
Barry’s wife Lindsey is an Emergency Medical Technician based at Dobshill, Flintshire.
Lindsey, originally of Afonwen, also has 35 years’ service under her belt –— together the couple have served the people of North Wales for 85 years combined.
The pair enjoy gardening and travelling, and celebrated the New Year in South Africa.
Jason Killens, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “Fifty years is an incredible length of service and we’re so grateful and fortunate to have a colleague of long-standing like Barry.’
“Barry has helped hundreds, if not thousands, of people over the years, many of whom would not be walking around Wales today if it were not for his skill and dedication.
“He’s an extraordinary man who has committed his life to making sure people are taken care of.”
Wayne Davies, the Trust’s Locality Manager for Wrexham in Flintshire, said: “Barry is a well-liked and well-respected colleague, having served communities across North Wales for 50 years.
“Together with Lindsey, they are an incredible duo, and we thank them both for their service.”
Joe Lewis, General Manager for the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service in North Wales, added: “CongratulationsBarry on a half-century of service.
“The people in North Wales are lucky to have you and long may you continue to serve them.”
Barry will celebrate 50 years’ service today with socially-distanced tea and cake with his colleagues on station.
“They’re still making me bring the cakes though,” he added.