Wilf and Mark have both retired with nearly 90 years of service between them

Wilf and Mark have both retired with nearly 90 years of service between them

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Two paramedics who completed their last shift on Saturday 31 August managed to clock up an impressive 86 years of service at EMAS.

Mark and Wilf, who happen to be brothers-in-law, both had their last shifts working together at the Nottingham Forest Football Club.

Wilf Prince started his career at EMAS first on 12th August 1974 when the service was know as Nottinghamshire Ambulance Service.

He said: "I had my job interview at Arnold Ambulance Staion on Gedling Road and the interviewer took me on a driving test in one of the ambulances around the block."

"After a few minutes he said he was happy with my driving skills and offered me the job."

The recruitment criteria may be a little bit more stringent these days, but that is not the only thing that the legendary pair remember as being different from today.

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Wilf Prince (far left leaning against the ambulance bonnet) pictured outside the City Hospital ambulance admissions entrance.

Mark Edwards applied to join the ambulance service while he was working in a Newsagents.

Wilf happened to be dating Mark's sister at the time, which introduced Mark to what sounded like a very interesting job.

Mark said: "I used to overhear Wilf talking to my sister about what he had been doing in the job and I was really interested.

"It was upon Wilf's advice that I applied to join the ambulance service after I saw an advert for the role of driver attendant in the newspaper in October 1977.

"On 27 February 1978 I became an official member of the team."

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Mark Edwards pictured in front of an ambulance in March 1988.

Mark and Wilf have seen a lot change during their times at EMAS, including the introduction of life-saving equipment such as defibrillators in 1983.

Mark said: "I was one of the first members of staff who was trained on how to use the defibs during a ten day course at the coronary care unit at Queen's Medical Centre.

"We were then able to give cardiac arrest patients more of a fighting chance as we could start shocking the heart to try and regain a rhythm."

Wilf shared one of the call-outs that has stood out for him against all others - The Kegworth Air Disaster that happened in January 1989.

He said: "It was harder to gain the most accurate information in those times and we were told that it was a light plane that had crashed.

"You can imagine how taken aback I was when I arrived and saw that it was a 737 aircraft with people strewn everywhere.

"I'll never forget it."

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Wilf Prince's identification badge from the 1970s.

Their last shift was obviously an emotional one. Mark had been an Events Team Leader for the last 17 years of his career with Wilf working alongside him since 2012.

EMAS are recruiting 150 new members of staff between July and September this year. Wilf had some advice to give to the fresh new starters.

He said: "Keep plodding on, do the job with all your best efforts and always take note of what your elders tell you.

"If you ask for advice, take it."

We wish Mark and Wilf and long and happy retirement.