Warragamba Says Thank You Norm
The community of Warragamba bid farewell to Norm Tallon last month, as the dedicated and respected Paramedic retired after 37 years of service with NSW Ambulance, which included the last 24 years at Warragamba Station.
Norm started his career on the 14th September 1981 at 8:00am. At 7:00am on the 14th September 2018, just one hour short of 37 years, he signed off for the final time. His first posting was to Auburn for 3 years, followed by Blacktown for 10 years, then finally arriving at Warragamba in 1994. This is where, except for a few months of special assignment during the swine flu, he served ever since.
“In those days Warragamba Station was one of very few in the state that was a single officer response, which meant we spent most of our time in the township as we could not be used for general work. When responding to a casualty call, if the patient was stable, we would transport to hospital on our own. If the patient was not stable, we would treat on scene until assistance arrived, normally from Penrith” explained Norm.
“In the 1990s and early 2000s, we felt a part of the local community very much, with locals coming to the station for medical advice, dressing changes and minor medical assistance. In those days, I rode my pushbike to work and many times on a hot day, friendly locals driving by would stop and give me a lift – something that was much appreciated. My wife, Melody, painted the murals including sprigs of wattle to signify the Wattle Queen festivals that the local community used as a major fundraiser to purchase the ambulance station” he continued.
For about the last 15 years, Norm and his partner had been double-crewed at Warragamba, which meant they didn’t have to wait around for back up if they had an unstable patient. However, because they were a normal crew, they were often needed to help prop up other areas that were busy, which often kept them out of the area for many hours at a time. This had made it hard to feel as connected to the community as they once were.
“While there have been times of joy and tragedy in the past 37 years, I have appreciated the trust and respect shown to us by most of the community. I have also considered it an honour to serve the people of the state. The hamlets around the Warragamba area will always be special to me” ended Norm.