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17 Dec

NSW Ambulance Inspector Graeme Silver retires after 32 years of service in the Hunter

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Retiring: NSW Ambulance Inspector Graeme Silver has finished his career after more than three decades – all spent in the Hunter.From the 1989 earthquake to the 2007 Pasha Bulker storm, Graeme Silver has seen a lot of action in his 32-year-career.

The Ambulance NSW Inspector, who has spent his entire career in the Hunter, called it a day last week.

Inspector Silver joined the ambulance service in 1986 after he tried a couple of other jobs that didn’t capture his interest.

But it may have been an inevitable turn of events though. He says he wanted to be a paramedic since he was a 12-year-old.

He joined St John’s Ambulance as a young man, but didn’t apply for a NSW Ambulance position until after he was married.

Read more: Pasha Bulker 10 years on

“I think it was the thrill, the adrenaline rush of doing things to help people,” he said.

Inspector Silver has delivered four babies during his career–he says that’s a rare feat for a paramedic–and remembers the 1989 earthquake and 2007 storm as the jobs that stick out most when reflecting on his career.

The day of the earthquake, Inspector Silver spent most of his timein the Wallsend area, but was called to transport a medical crew from Newcastle Workers Club to the western suburbs.

He said the gravity of the situation sank in when he sawthe devastation at the club.

“I could see people clambering over it. Rescue operators, fire men, ambos, machines were well under way–cherry pickers and stuff like that–by then,trying to get in to the people,” he said.

Read more: 28 years since Newcastle earthquake

“I could see people laying out the front. I remember the photos that theHeraldhad were distinctly what I saw–people laying on grass and people sitting with people.”

Inspector Silver said the camaraderie betweenworkmates was what he expected to miss the most in retirement, which he is kicking off with some overseas travel with his wife Jenny. Though he plans to remain an active State Emergency Service member.

“I thinkin myself [I know] I’ve done my bit as far as this service is concerned,” he said.“I think it’s time to hang up the hat and give someone else a go.”

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