Grant Jennison of NSW Ambulance was born to be a paramedic and recently he was presented with his medals to signify more than three decades in the 'blue family'.
In 1988 Grant returned home to NSW after living and working in London and Europe. He knew his passion was emergency medicine and decided to pursue a career as a paramedic. Grant is the son of a nurse and the brother of one, too, so it's only fitting that he pursued a nursing degree as well at 46 years old.
Grant was just one of 14 recipients of Long Service, Good Conduct and National Medals presented at the Richmond Ambulance Station.
Collectively, the 14 medal recipients have almost 300 years of service to NSW Ambulance and the vibe from the presentation was pride and excitement as paramedics were acknowledged for the years upon years during which they have given up precious family moments to look after their community.
Some 17 years ago, Liu Bianchi was sent from Auburn Ambulance Station to Penrith to cover a staffing short fall, and it was that relief day that saw Grant meet the woman whom he calls his "best friend".
"According to her it was love at first sight. I say that it is one of those lucky coincidences," Grant said.
Upon being presented with his award, Grant said there was so much pride in standing there next to the men and women who had become part of his work family.
"The award made me reflect on how fast the years fly by," he said.
"Thirty two years seems like three.
"It was a proud moment to watch many of my colleagues receive their well-deserved medals as well."
Grant commenced his career with NSW Ambulance at Lane Cove where he worked under then station officer Dr Dominic Morgan. After his time at Lane Cove, Grant moved to St Ives before headquarters, then Blacktown and Riverstone before settling at Richmond.
"Richmond is a traditional station and we are a pretty close group of people with a combined experience of over 300 years," he said.
To date, Grant's proudest moment in the job was when his son Luc decided to follow his dad's lead.
"My son is now a paramedic and his wife, Jackie has just started as a call taker so we now have four family members in the ASNSW. That makes me proud."
Deputy Director of clinical operations for Western Sydney Nepean Blue Mountains, Chief Superintendent Jordan Emery, said it was humbling to present the awards.
"Today is not an occasion for self-aggrandisement of the work we do as paramedics, but it is worthwhile to stop and think of the difficulties we face in the arena we work," Supt Emery said.
"Today we are celebrating the labors of shift work, long days, missed meal breaks, exposure to trauma and suffering, unimaginable violence and the tragedy that mirrors the human experience across all places and times."
Superintendent Emery praised his staff for their sacrifices over the years.