Noel retires on Christmas Eve

23 December 2016

Brent paramedic Noel Thomas is retiring on Christmas Eve – also his birthday – after 40 years with London Ambulance Service.

As well as being one of the Service’s longest serving paramedics, Noel has worked with the same crewmate for 30 years – thought to be a record.

Noel said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my job. Retiring is either the best decision I’ve ever made or the worst. My head and body are saying it’s a wise decision but my heart is saying different.”

Noel, who lives in Northolt with his wife Christine, has two sons and has also fostered many children over the years – as well as delivering around a dozen babies while working as a paramedic.

“Certain jobs you see are horrific and will stay with you forever but when we resuscitate someone or a patient says ‘thank you’, that’s a feeling money cannot buy,” said Noel.

“In four days as a paramedic you can bring in a life and be there when someone goes; it’s like a circle.”

He credited his long-serving crewmate Christine Money – now retired herself – as being one of the main reasons he stayed in and enjoyed the job for so long.

“Having a good crewmate makes this the easiest job in the world. It’s like having a friend and you support each other, both in what’s going on in your life and through the difficult jobs we have to attend.”

Noel said he felt the most important element of his career was treating everyone with common courtesy.

“The rich, the poor and everyone in between are equal when they need our help. We are privileged to see people when their guard is down and be able to help them,” he explained.

“You cannot judge people as you don’t know what has happened in their life that has gotten them to that point. Under different circumstances it could be any of us.”

Noel started his career at Park Royal ambulance station on 6 September, 1976. He spent some time at Willesden ambulance station before moving on and spending the majority of his career working from Wembley ambulance station.

Assistant Director of Operations, Ian Johns said: “A forty year career serving London is an extraordinary milestone and the London Ambulance Services wishes Noel the very best in his retirement.”

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