Lincolnshire Paramedic is no stranger to the frontline at Christmas

Lincolnshire Paramedic is no stranger to the frontline at Christmas

Tony in his ambulance uniform holds his great-granddaughter Mia in his arms. Mia is fast asleep and wearing a pink babygrow. Tony looks at the camera and smiles.

Former RAF engineer Tony Mather will be on duty over Christmas and New Year as a Fast Response Vehicle (FRV) paramedic in Lincolnshire.

Tony, 62, is no stranger to being on the frontline over the festive period – he was usually deployed for active service around this time of year during his 29-year career in the military before he joined the ambulance service.

Tony decided to make the switch over to the ambulance service in 2005 after being a part-time RAF First Responder, which he says gave him a greater insight into the ambulance service and the NHS and inspired him to train to become a paramedic.

He said: “The camaraderie and spirit around Christmas time within the ambulance service is very similar to the RAF – it’s all about making the best of it when working together away from our families.

“There’s a feeling that everyone on the same shift has each other’s back; whether that’s your immediate crewmate, other crews out responding at the same time, and our NHS colleagues who we work closely with at our local hospitals.

“I think we all accept that working Christmas and New Year is an unavoidable fact when you are in the emergency services, so there is a joint acceptance that we’re all away from our own families because we are needed to look after other people’s loved ones at their time of need.”

When Tony is not at work, he will be spending the time with his family coming all together for their alternative Christmas Day which will be done on a different date but won’t be any less special.