Dedicated Macleay Valley paramedic Allan Simpkins is off to Bankstown Sports Club in Sydney this weekend for the Rotary NSW and ACT Emergency Services Community Awards.
Mr Simpkins is among four NSW paramedics recognised with a nomination and is a true pillar of our community.
He’s in his 40th year in the high pressure job and since moving to Kempsey in the early 90s, he has volunteered with the SES, worked with the NSW fire brigade, taught first aid for St John Ambulance NSW and currently he is a member of the Aldavilla Bush fire Brigade.
“I’m a bit shocked and overwhelmed, but I thought it was very nice to be nominated,” he said.
“It’s very rewarding work serving your local community and I still find it enjoyable.”
This real-life superhero has saved countless lives across the course of his employment and on one occasion while volunteering for the State Emergency Service he performed a daring rescue in raging floodwaters, earning a bravery medal for his efforts.
“I was just fortunate enough to be able to get out of the boat and swim to him and get the rope on him, and get him back to the boat,” he said.
The selfless local legend told the Argus the key to holding your nerve when lives are on the line is referring back to your training and experience gained over many years.
“Building resilience is also vitally important for paramedics,” he said.
“I’m lucky I’ve got a good group of paramedics and family members to support me at any time which is extremely important.
“When you have not so good times, it’s always nice just to sit down and talk to someone who understands.”
Mr Simpkins is now nearing the end of his distinguished career, but he’s not ready to retire just yet.
“At the moment I still love putting a uniform on and going to work,” he said.
“Over the years, the emergency services have put a lot of added value into me, as far as training and knowledge.
“I believe it’s part of my role to pass that knowledge on to build a stronger community through the emergency services.”
The Argus wishes Mr Simpkins the best of luck on Friday night and thanks him for his many years of service to the Macleay.