AN emergency medical technician has received a long-service medal after clocking up 26 years with the Ambulance Service.

Dave Buckland, 54, worked at Middlesbrough Ambulance Station for 25 years before he moved to Coulby Newham earlier this year.

The father-of-four, of Ber-wick Hills, Middlesbrough, has seen many changes to the service and said: "We used to do 12-hour shifts, but now we do eight or ten-hour shifts which is a lot easier.

"The nature of the job is the same because every call is different and you never know what you are getting until you arrive on scene."

One of the first major incidents he attended was a bus crash at the Portrack roundabout, in Middlesbrough, which left four dead.

He said: "We were the first crew on scene and it was horrendous. But it is all part and parcel of the job."

The founder member of the Middlesbrough Ambulance Angling Club decided on a new career after being a foundry worker in Middlesbrough for 12 years.

He said: "I had done first aid and I knew a few people in the ambulance service. My father was sick at the time and it was a case of wanting to put something back."