On call no more

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On call no more

Family man: Neil Trease with daughters Jenny, Julie, Susan and wife Isabelle.

NEIL Trease has had a lot of sleepless nights over the past 22 years, but it’s not something he stresses about.

The former community ambulance officer has retired after more than two decades in the field waking up at all hours answering calls.

A former motor mechanic at a butter factory on call at all hours, Neil’s body clock has long been out of whack.

“I was always used to getting up anytime; most of the time (wife) Isabelle didn’t even realise I’d got up,” he said.

“The family was used to me coming and going at all hours when I worked. They’ve been great though.

“That’s what we’re there for; you just had to do it. Three jobs is the most I’ve had in one night.”

And when Neil talks of jobs, it isn’t paperwork or number crunching; he’s out on the scene of accidents facing up to serious injuries.

“You seem to get over it,” he says of the scenes of crashes and other various incidents.

“Being in such a small area you do see a lot of people you know, which can be a bit daunting but you do learn to handle it.”

“When you see young children it’s a bit harder. You’d do a job like that and say ‘Well, am I going ot carry on or am I going to give it away?’ But I think you’ve just got to stick at it.”

Other community officers in shock have often found peace at Neil’s place, where he has been known to get up at any hour and talk with them, share a meal or just a cup of coffee.

“We’d chat with them and make sure they’re ok,” he said.

“There was one girl, nearly every job she couldn’t handle she’d call me up and come over.

“She’d sometimes come at 6am for breakfast. She used to call and say ‘Are you up and running?’ I’d say ‘Yes’, and she said ‘I’m coming over’”.

Neil’s generosity and commitment to the cause has earned him plenty of recognition, not least of all his nomination for Senior Victorian of the Year in 2005.

He was awarded the Mirboo North and South Gippsland Shire senior citizen of the year in that same year.

This year he was awarded a Victorian Ambulance Service Medal on Australia Day.

Neil’s final day was on June 8, 23 years after he started ambulance training in Albert Park on Monday nights in 1988.

And while it will mean less work for him, he doesn’t plan on taking it any easier in the near future.

As part of the committees of Lyrebird Walk, rail trail and committee of restructure of the rail trail, as well as being a trust member for the cemetery, Neil certainly has a lot on his plate.

After years of training far away from home on Monday nights, he will be able to put his feet up now and enjoy the company of his wife Isabelle.

But Isabelle had one clear instruction for Neil now that he’s given away the ambulance service.
“I’ve made sure he knows that the televisions still mine on Monday nights,” she said.


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Posted by on Jul 5 2011. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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