Date published: 2 November 2023

A much-respected colleague, who has been instrumental in educating tens of thousands of people in CPR across the East Midlands, is clocking in for the final time.

Ben Ryrie, Community Support Officer for the EMAS Community Response Team is retiring after spending ten years with EMAS.

Ben, from Leicestershire, joined in July 2013 after deciding it was time for something different and a change of career away from financial services, so jumped at the chance to join EMAS as an Emergency Care Assistant based at Loughborough Ambulance Station.

He said: “I felt that I had reached a point where I wanted to do something the complete opposite to my job in finance and give something back. My kids had grown up and I didn’t want to waste anymore time doing something which wasn’t really fulfilling anymore.

“I felt the skills and attributes I possessed would serve me well in the ambulance service and so it seemed an easy decision to make.”

Ben worked as an Emergency Care Assistant for just under four years serving the communities of Leicestershire before deciding on a new challenge which brought him to the EMAS Community Response Team in 2016.

There, he took up the role of County Co-ordinator and Training Officer, looking after Community First Responders across Leicestershire where along with another former EMAS colleague, Mandy Lowe, they were able to build up a brilliant team of volunteers.

Ben said: “The volunteers I worked with during my time in Leicestershire were nothing short of amazing. I was in awe of them and everything they achieved. They did and still do incredible things day in day out and it was an absolute pleasure to work with them.”

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Fast forward to 2022, Ben took on the new role of Community Support Officer, establishing a team of Community Trainer volunteers, who are teaching CPR to communities across the East Midlands, something Ben is passionate about. Ben’s team have already trained over 10,000 people since the roll out of the programme.

He said: “I have absolutely been blown away by the team training over 10,000 people, which I would have never imagined in this short space of time. At the start of 2023, we set a target of 5000 people so to double that is brilliant.

“The Community Trainers have been a great team to lead and work with and they really do make the difference. Throughout the short period of time the programme has been running, we have done some amazing things such as working with Leicester City Council to install defibs across the city, speaking to the media about the importance of CPR and defibrillation and really bringing to the forefront just how important it is to learn to save a life.”

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While Ben is retiring, he isn’t hanging up his boots altogether and will be returning to his Emergency Care Assistant role at Loughborough from time to time to support his local communities, however he is looking forward to the variety of things his retirement holds.

“I really am looking forward to my retirement and spending time with my new grandchildren, seeing the world and trying new things I haven’t had the chance to do. However I will miss the people and the team spirit that working in the ambulance service brings, so I am looking forward to getting out there as an ECA on the odd shift where I can support.”