Well-loved Leicestershire staff member retires after over five decades of service

Well-loved Leicestershire staff member retires after over five decades of service

2 pictures of Keith thrower. on the left is Keith in green uniform and protective face mask holding badge and on the right is keith and crew mate smiling in uniform together.

A 76-year-old ambulance crew member is hanging up his boots after more than 50 years’ service on the EMAS frontline.

Keith Thrower, who lives in Dunton Basset, first joined the ambulance service on 4 March, 1964, aged just 20.

But now after an incredible commitment and service of 56 years, 8 months and 28 days, Emergency Care Assistant Keith is ready to enjoy his retirement with his family.

Keith dreamed of joining the ambulance service from the tender age of 14, and he started his career with Leicester City Ambulance Service as an Ambulance Driver Attendant based at Welford Road Station in the city.

In the 56 years that Keith has been part of the ambulance service, he has made his home at many of the stations across Leicestershire, moving to Leicester County Ambulance Service in 1973, becoming Leading Ambulance Man at Market Harborough and finally settling at Lutterworth Station where he has worked for the last 44 years and where he signed off shift for the final time earlier this week as an Emergency Care Assistant.

Throughout his career, Keith has had some tough moments but also some very memorable ones.

He said: “I remember one Saturday when I was working alone and a call came in from the police about an incident on the M1.

“When I got there, I found the patient in their car covered in water…which was slightly odd, so I asked them why their clothes were so wet? Turns out they dropped their goldfish which they had been balancing in between their legs while driving!

“The goldfish ended up on the road, but was fine in the end.”

While Keith is very humble about his years in the ambulance service, his dedication to his patients has been recognised with a long service award and Queen’s Ambulance Medal in 2015 for his time at EMAS.

Keith Thrower and his wife smiling, whilst holding Long Service - 50 years service award

When looking back on his long career and why he has continued for so long, he said:

“I think that the people are a big part of it. It’s a very rewarding career and I am incredibly lucky to have worked with some wonderful people. The ambulance service has been my life.

“One of the most rewarding things about my time is how I have been able to pass on my knowledge and advice for those just starting in their career and seeing how they progress.

“I don’t know what my plans for retirement are yet, but I know I will miss EMAS.”