JOB LOVER: Karl Radford, of Roma,  has been recognised as the   Queensland Ambulance Service's South West Paramedic of the Year.
JOB LOVER: Karl Radford, of Roma, has been recognised as the Queensland Ambulance Service's South West Paramedic of the Year. Ellen Ransley

Meet the southwest's paramedic of the year

FOR almost 30 years, Karl Radford has been saving the lives of his neighbours.

Nominated by his superintendent, Officer Radford was last week rewarded for his dedication to the Queensland Ambulance Service by being named South West Paramedic of the Year.

"My dad inspired me to become a paramedic, he was a volunteer honorary officer for more than 20 years,” he said.

"When I got my driver's license, my dad got a call late one night and had nobody to drive him.

" So he said 'get out of bed boy, we're going for a drive'.

"We were going a long way into a fairly isolated area, so I jumped in the truck and drove to help him out.

"I decided then that was what I really wanted to do.

"I'm celebrating 29 years this Christmas.”

Joining the QATB in its last year of existence before it became Queensland Ambulance Service, Officer Radford credits his professional success to his people skills.

"I think having good skills and knowledge is up there but I think you need to be a people person and know how to talk to people,” he said.

"If you can build rapport with people quickly and easily, half your work is done.

"It's the good stuff about the job that keeps me coming back.

"It's hearing about how you made an impact in somebody else's lives.”