Respected and knowledgeable Administrator retires after 18 years of loyal service
One of our dedicated Locality Administrators in Lincolnshire has begun her well-earned retirement to spend more time with her family.
Di Taylor, now 62, joined what was then known as Lincolnshire Ambulance Service in March 2003 in a new role to support our frontline ambulance crews across the second largest county in England, but it was a role that often took her beyond an office desk.
Being an administrator for the Lincolnshire Division of EMAS would go on to become one of the longest job positions in her life.
As an administrator, Di was responsible for the day-to-day running of six ambulance stations across the division: Sleaford, Bourne, Grantham, Holbeach, Spalding and Stamford.
This would include providing stock counts, liaising with Human Resources to check that personnel files for individual members of staff were up to date, keeping on top of sickness levels, and typing up six individual audit reports for each of the six stations.
Di said: “I worked with so many different people from various departments across the organisation and I genuinely got to know lots of my colleagues really well on both a professional and personal level.”
In the early days of being an administrator, before the implementation of our Fleet Services team, it fell upon the Administration Team to ensure vehicles got to where they needed to be.
Di said: “People think that the job of an administrator is office-based, at a desk and on a computer from nine to five but there is, and was, much more to it than that.
“I remember that if a vehicle broke down and a station needed a replacement, I would have to drop everything and get in one of the fast response cars, with a paramedic in tow, to drop them off at a station where they would get the replacement vehicle and drive it to where it was needed.
“I would also go and recover the stranded crew and bring them back to the station they were based at.
“We did not have in-house mechanics in those early years so the upkeep, maintenance and deployment of all patient-facing vehicles in Lincolnshire was our responsibility via close working relationships with external maintenance companies.”
Before working for EMAS, between 1980 and 2003, Di and her two children travelled across the UK and other areas of the world as Di’s husband, Ian, was in the Royal Air Force (RAF). This included the Falkland Islands, Bosnia, Kosovo, Cyprus and Germany (where Di gave birth to their daughter).
Di said: “Before working at EMAS, my job role would change every couple of years. I have done almost every job you can think of, from being a cleaner, stacking shelves in a supermarket and working for a local council.
“Me and Ian moved to Lincolnshire after Ian was posted to work from RAF Coningsby.
“I had four job interviews in one day, including the position at EMAS being one of them.
“My past experiences led me to become highly skilled in problem-solving and the opportunity to do this as a Locality Administrator meant it was an easy decision to accept the job offer.”
Certain aspects of the job have changed throughout the years, but one thing remained paramount - the art of communication.
Di added: “Being open, honest and transparent about the complexities of an issue facing the division at any given moment in time while also being respectful of the concerns of people who may not fully understand the issue at hand, is a very important balance of skills.”
During her final day at work, Di was thrown a surprise retirement party on Zoom to ensure the celebrations could happen in a COVID-safe manner and featured many colleagues who had worked closely with Di at every stage of her career.
While Di says that she has been lucky to do a job she has thoroughly enjoyed for the nearly 20 years, she will miss the people at work the most.
Di said: “I did shed a few tears during the surprise virtual gathering as seeing all the different faces ranging from fellow admin colleagues, senior management, the mechanics and the make-ready ladies, made me realise how many lovely people I got to know throughout the years.
“The thing I will treasure the most is the card they got me that has an ambulance on the front made up of different words like loyal, wise, funny, dedicated, mum, and it has my children’s and husband’s names on there too.”
Now that Di has retired she is moving to a new house in order to be closer to her daughter and two-year-old grandson.
Di said: “I hope to able to build up a day-to-day relationship with my grandchildren that Ian and I have not yet had the chance to do because we have been too busy.
“I have retired early because life is for living and I’m really excited to be able to pick up my grandson from nursery as soon as it’s allowed so I can support my daughter who works for the police.
“I also hope to explore more of the Cotswolds where my son lives with our 10-year-old granddaughter.”
General Manager for the Lincolnshire Division of EMAS, Sue Cousland said: “Di has played a pivotal role within the Division and we will always be extremely grateful for all the hard work, dedication and commitment she has demonstrated over the years in the smooth running of the Division.
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank Di for her hard work and to wish her good health and every happiness in her retirement with her family – she will be greatly missed.”