Long serving Community First Responders Mick and Barbara Shepard have hung up their fluorescent jackets for the last time after retiring after 11 years serving their community as Community First Responders.
Mick and Barbara, who are both 64, have been responding to 999 calls in the village of Oxhill, Warwickshire and surrounding areas during their spare time and helped local residents hundreds of times.
The couple, who made themselves available to respond every time they were at home and not going out, clocked up thousands of hours of service and treated hundreds of patients and admit they loved every minute of it. Mick said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed serving the ambulance service and our local communities but we feel this is the right time to retire. Hopefully we have made a difference to people in their hour of need.”
Barbara added, “We would like to thank Bobby Qayum and all former Community Response Managers for their help and support, and finally thank all our responder colleagues, friends and WMAS staff for their assistance. We will definitely miss responding!”
The couple added: “We would recommend becoming a Community First Responder to anyone who wants to give something back to their community. The training and support we have received has been second-to-none, and the feeling of helping someone in their hour of need is very rewarding.”
Area Manager for South Warwickshire, Martyn Scott, said: “The couple are well-known in the area by residents and ambulance staff alike and will be massively missed. The dedication they have shown is enormous and they should be extremely proud of their achievements. On behalf of the Trust I wish them both well in their retirement and hope they enjoy relaxing and taking more holidays.”
The couple were honoured by the Trust in 2011 with a Chief Officer’s Commendation for “Actions Above and Beyond the Call of Duty”, for saving an Ambulance, the crew and patient from slipping off the road down an embankment on Sun Rising Hill, due to heavy snow fall by using their 4×4 responder truck. They also received the Queens Jubilee Medal in 2012. Mick and Barbara are pictured presented with a letter of thanks by Area Manager Martyn Scott and CRM Bobby Qayum. A further shows them with other CFR colleagues.