From cadet to career mother

Wednesday 2nd April 2014 – 1pm – Chris Kowalik.

In September 1993 Michelle Brotherton joined the-then Hereford & Worcester Ambulance Service as a cadet at the age of 16.

On Thursday 20th March 2014, Michelle was presented with her twenty year medal at West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Long Service and Excellence Awards in Stoke-On-Trent. The presentation recognised Michelle’s rise through the ranks from cadet qualifying as an ambulance technician two years later and as a paramedic after a further three years. She then held a variety of senior positions; currently she is General Manager for Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire and is responsible for providing the ambulance service to the populations of the three counties. But, as a paramedic, she still drops everything to respond to emergencies while in and out of work. And during that time she married a fellow former ambulance cadet and had four children!

The Long Service & Excellence Awards held at the Best Western PLUS Stoke-on-Trent sponsored by Zoll UK Ltd. was an opportunity for Michelle’s family to mark her anniversary and for Michelle to catch-up with a number of colleagues from Worcestershire with whom she began her five-year cadetship and some of whom she hasn’t seen for many years since (pictured with WMAS Chief Executive Anthony Marsh).

Worcestershire

Michelle said: “I felt really proud because the ambulance service has been my life for the last twenty years. I am as enthusiastic about the ambulance service now as I was then.” But she admitted she couldn’t have done it without the support of her close family.

She recalled: “My Mum and Dad have supported me throughout my whole career. At 16 I couldn’t drive so my Mum and Dad used to ferry me around, taking me to Powick for my inductions because that’s where the ambulance headquarters was based. Until I got my driving licence they took me to my placements around Herefordshire and Worcestershire and they’ve continued to support me since. Now they look after my children while I’m at work. I have a very understanding husband. He used to be in the ambulance service and was a cadet as well. If it wasn’t for my family I wouldn’t be able to do the role because of the long hours.”

Michelle described how the roles of the paramedic and the ambulance service have changed since she started: “It’s changed dramatically in terms of the skills, additional drugs that paramedics now use and technology.”

She concluded: “At the age of 36, part of me thinks ‘what’s next’? I’m keen to continue to progress within the ambulance service which will enable me to retain my skills as a paramedic and still have patient contact. Patient contact is the bit I really enjoy and it reinforces why I joined the ambulance service; that was for the patient.”

Ends

Note to Editors: Michelle Brotherton is pictured with WMAS Chief Executive Anthony Marsh.

Back row, left to right: Nicholas Montandon (Paramedic Area Support Officer), Kate Owen (Clinical Team Mentor), Kenneth Dunkley (Emergency Operations Centre Controller), Wayne Carrier (Emergency Medical Technician), Adam Joynes (Clinical Team Mentor), Sandra Potter (Paramedic Officer), Stuart Gardner (Paramedic), Marissa Causier (Paramedic)

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