Tuesday 15th December 2015 – 12.30pm – Claire Brown.
After providing thousands of quotes, interviews and stories to the media, one of the longest serving press officers in the NHS is set to retire from West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) on Friday after a career spanning 39 years.
Steve Parry, 58 from Shrewsbury, started his career as a control assistant at the former Shropshire Ambulance Service headquarters in Abbey Foregate. He later qualified as an ambulanceman and was based at the former Tweedale ambulance station in Telford.
In the 1990s, Steve became the first appointed media officer for the 999 service and was instrumental in winning national recognition for Shropshire’s fledgling volunteer community first responder scheme with a coveted NHS Health and Social Care award. When Shropshire Ambulance Service merged with its larger neighbour in the West Midlands, he became its Head of Press and Communications.
In 2006, Steve became Head of Press for County Air Ambulance and was responsible for rebranding the popular helicopter service to Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.
In recent years he has been credited with organising the highly rated WMAS award ceremonies and the National Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence in London.
Contemplating his retirement, Steve said: “When the office apprentice tells you that she was far from a twinkle in her parent’s eye, and they themselves had just started primary school when I first joined the Service, then it’s time to call it a day and retire gracefully to enjoy the finer things in life.”
WMAS Communications Director, Murray MacGregor, said: “Steve has always shown great compassion when dealing with often tragic and complex incidents as well helping to highlight the excellent work carried out by our staff.
“He has been such an important part of the team using his experience to provide help and advice to newer members of staff over the years. I know everyone in the team will miss him, but we wish him well in his retirement.”