Paramedic Thomas Bailey was presented with the Queen's Ambulance Service Medal for Distinguished Service by His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge last month.
The medal recognises ambulance personnel who have shown exceptional devotion to duty, outstanding ability, merit and conduct in their role.
Thomas was one of our first paramedics in Derbyshire and has worked on the frontline for 40 years. During his time on the frontline he has fought to have additional skills added the paramedic role - such as paediatric intubation - set up a rural cave rescue service for patients involved in dangerous incidents and become an accredited instructor to help new staff receive the best start to their career.
Thomas should have received the medal last year but the presentation was postponed due to COVID-19. Instead, it took place at Windsor Castle on 16 November 2021.
He said: "After we left the hotel we met the first of many armed police officers who all wished us well and offered congratulations.
"We showed our passes at the gate and entered Windsor Castle where there were many staff to ensure the right route was taken.
"The orchestra was playing the national anthem. I was last and was very nervous but Prince William was extremely easy to talk to. It was a brilliant day."
Thomas was one of a group of people who received awards, including Professor Sir Menelas Pangalos who collected a knighthood for his services to UK science for his work on the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca.
He added: "There were about 90 people being presented with medals but Prince William knew all the details about us all."
Thomas joined Derbyshire Ambulance Service (before it became EMAS) in September 1979, and was originally based at New Mills.
He has also previously received the Willetts Award after he aided in the rescue of a patient, who had fallen into a large silo in a quarry, by risking his own safety and climbing into the silo to treat the patient until the full rescue team could arrive.
Chief Executive Richard Henderson has praised Thomas for his dedication to the service and to patients.
He said: "Thomas' dedication to the ambulance service over the last 40 years is truly inspiring. He has been fantastic mentor to many ambulance colleagues and thoroughly deserves this honour. Congratulations Thomas."