68 year old Glyn retired as a Paramedic back in 2015 after 42 years in the service and since the late eighties has been collecting ambulance service memorabilia which he displays for everyone to enjoy twice a year at Crosby Ambulance Station.
The collection dates back to the 1800s and is packed with vehicles, uniforms, photos, badges and equipment from across the decades giving a real insight into how the ambulance service has developed over the years.
Glyn started his career as an ambulance cadet working for City of Liverpool Ambulance Service before undertaking gaining his paramedic qualification in 1990. He said: “I decided I wanted to join the ambulance service after witnessing an accident and being really interested in the emergency response. I felt I wanted to be a part of that and be able to help people in similar situations.
“I started taking an interest in the history of the ambulance service when an old vehicle was being decommissioned at the station I was based at. I thought it would be a great idea to repurpose it to be able to take to schools and teach youngsters about the ambulance service, so I asked for permission to do so.
“From there it has grown and grown and the collection now has a wide selection of equipment, photographs and badges including six vintage vehicles. The oldest vehicle is a KSV500 1949 Bedford KZ which was used by Cheshire Ambulance Service and was in operation just after the NHS formed 75 years ago.”
The museum also features a collection of historical resuscitation equipment and training guides used in the second world war and how these have progressed in the years following.
“One of the biggest developments that I have seen over the years is the training and capabilities of ambulance staff. From only giving very basic life support to now being able to provide clinical intervention for a range of conditions, it is so much more satisfying knowing that the help we provide can make a real difference to a patient’s outcome before they arrive at hospital.”
“It’s also interesting how attitudes towards women have progressed. Historical guidance claims that women were expected to undertake only limited duties and provide more of a caring or ‘sedentary’ role so this is an area that’s developed considerably in relation to gender equality.”
Glyn runs the ambulance museum on a voluntary basis, opening to staff and the public for two weeks each year with visitors coming from up and down the country to admire the collection. He also works with other volunteers to attend various shows and exhibitions in the community, teaching the public about the history of the ambulance service.
Glyn does all the research himself and provides detailed information explaining how the equipment was used, even creating his own wooden replica of a horse-drawn ambulance carriage used in the 1800s.
He continues: “I’m passionate about keeping up to date with the past as I like to say and it gives me real joy when people come to see the museum and say, “wow”, that makes all the hard work worthwhile.” The museum is next expected to be open to the public in September, keep an eye on our social media nearer the time where we’ll provide visiting details for those who would like to go along.