NEWFOUND FREEDOM: Kevin Montgomery has retired and plans on spending more time with his family. ONE of Cootamundra’s most dedicated paramedics has retired after 34 years in the NSW Ambulance Service.
Kevin Montgomery retired earlier this month and while the broader community may not have noticed that it’s not business as usual for him, he will be dearly missed.
On his last day of work colleagues from the NSW Ambulance Service, co-workers from the hospital, and community members gave Mr Montgomery a proper send off .
He participated in a mock callout to the hospital and he arrived to a surprise party.
Armed with courage, knowledge, and life experience, Mr Montgomery has been well-equipped for the job since his inception to the service in 1970.
Training was relatively simple then, involving a month in the classroom, six months on the road, and then another month of theory in the lead up to exams.
Nowadays, most paramedics enter the workforce after completing a university degree in paramedical science and many years of life experience.
Mr Montgomery believes things may have changed for a couple of reasons; greater supply of applicants for the job, and an increasing standard of service.
He was working as a bar manager in Mudgee when he decided to turn over a new leaf in Cootamundra and has never looked back.
A perfect candidate for the job, Mr Montgomery has been able to rise above apparent mayhem in emergency situations.
“Everyone has their limits, I just try to stick to mine and I usually find peace in knowing I’ve done my best,” he said.
“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like it; I don’t like seeing people hurt but I’ve always known my ability and what I can and can’t do,” Mr Montgomery said.
Family support has been vital in negating the tough psychological impact that his job could have potentially created.
“My wife’s always supported me 100 per cent,” Mr Montgomery said.
“I would come home and bounce problems off her, and they were a problem no longer.”
With a workforce comprised of people like Mr Montgomery it’s little wonder that paramedics were voted as the most trusted professionals for the 10th year running last month.
“It’s rewarding if you have the right attitude,” he said.
Mr Montgomery acknowledged his colleagues, thanking them for their friendship and the quality of service provided.
“I’d like to acknowledge the fantastic people I’ve worked with both in the (Ambulance) service and the hospital,” he said.
A special mention went out to Trevor Richmond “who gave me 26 years of comradeship.”
“We had the ability to trust each other and we watched each other’s backs.”
It’s a job that requires immense responsibility, and even during holidays staff are on call.
“I’m really going be able to enjoy the holidays now,” he said.
Family has and always will be Mr Montgomery’s first priority with retirement giving him more time with his many grandchildren.
Mr Montgomery laughed about how his retirement will impact others in his household.
“I’ll give my wife a month and she’ll kick me out of the house!”
All jokes aside, the couple are very happy and have their sights set on Hervey Bay in Queensland.
“My wife and I have travelled a fair bit, but we’ve only just scratched the surface in Australia.”
Retirement will also afford Mr Montgomery the opportunity to indulge in some of his other hobbies he has dabbled in but not had a lot of time for including painting, building and designing things.
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