AN ambulance worker who gave up a managerial role to return to frontline care has finally retired from the service after 42 years.

Friends, family and colleagues gathered to say farewell to the Blackburn ambulance technician George Dixon, who had followed his father in pursuing a career in the service.

After being stationed in Southport and Clitheroe in his early career, the 65-year-old became station officer at Blackburn and then Darwen in the 1980s.

But the Cherry Tree resident said: “I was okay with the administrative side of things, but I found I missed being on the frontline and looking after the patients.

“So I went back to the bottom of the ladder as a technician.”

He was given a warm send-off at Blackburn ambulance station, when staff recounted a story which has become legendary among green-suited medics in East Lancashire.

The dad-of-three said: “We had taken a patient back to her house and she was locked out.

“So, with her permission, I climbed in through a window to open her front door. However, I had climbed into her neighbour’s house and gave her a shock!

“She screamed when she saw me in her bedroom.

“ Once I explained myself, we all had a nice cup of tea.

“My colleague on the day was laughing as he heard the screams but it wasn’t funny for the lady who I had surprised!”