Alan's ambo birthday wish
ALAN Heighway has been the public face of the ambulance service for the past 12 years.
He is well known in town for sitting with his trailer in front of Crazy Clark's selling lucky envelopes to raise funds for the service.
He turns 80 tomorrow and hopes the community will wish him happy birthday by simply purchasing a 50 cent ticket.
Mr Heighway, known as “Detour” – because he is “too short and rough to be a highway” – took over the position from his dear friend, the late William Rogers.
Despite suffering a heart attack three weeks ago, Mr Heighway was back on the street yesterday to ensure funds were still raised for the service.
Mr Heighway said he wanted to make sure he was back selling lucky envelopes before he turned 80.
And there are many years left in Mr Heighway.
He hopes to continue the charity service for another six years, until the 2016 Olympics.
“I want to go to the Olympics in 2016,” he said.
“My wife asked me how I was going to get around the Olympics and I told her she could push me in a wheelchair.”
Mr Heighway applied for a job at the local ambulance rooms to keep himself busy.
“At the time I married my third wife, who was 35 years younger than me, and I was virtually retired and I needed something to get me out of the house,” he said.
“I've always been a giver and I've never been a taker.
“I do as much as I can for charities.”
Mr Heighway raises $10,000 for the ambulance committee every year.
“It has dropped like everything else has,” he said.
The ambulance committee praised Mr Heighway yesterday.
Local Ambulance Committee treasurer John Handley said Mr Heighway had raised about $120,000 over his 12 years in the position.
“I'll be going down there tomorrow morning to give him an OBE (over bloody eighty) medal,” he said.
“He puts a lot of effort into the fundraising and it all goes into the service, from safety gear for helicopters to defibrillators for paramedics.”