Sport to the rescue for ex-policeman
By HELEN JACK
BEING in the thick of it is nothing new to former rescue squad policeman Neville Graham.
But since his official retirement last December, the former senior constable is enjoying saving the odd cricket innings instead of a life or two.
A keen cricketer and all-round sportsman, Neville will celebrate his 24 years in the NSW Police Force at a farewell do in Lismore tomorrow night.
"I retired from the force on medical grounds," Neville said.
"It's not the way I wanted to leave, but after doing the things I've been doing, I had to say 'enough is enough'.
"I am now going to sit back and do things with the family I have always wanted to do."
Neville joined the police in 1982, transferring to the rescue squad in 1986.
"I had skills in abseiling and bushwalking; my father was a mechanic, so I had worked with him as well as being an electrician by trade," he said.
'I had a lot of skills that were useful in police rescue."Neville ceased duties two and a half years ago, but still finds it hard to let go the tension of being constantly on call since 1986.
"I still haven't calmed down," he said. "Even now, when I hear a police siren, I look up wondering where they are going and why.
"And I still can't leave the mobile phone at home ? just in case."
Saving a woman from suffocating in a silo filled with macadamia nuts, and pulling a cow giving birth from a river, and are just some of the tricky situations Neville has dealt with.
"People don't normally thank you for helping them, because they are usually traumatised, but you are just happy to know you have done a good job," he said. "I have no plans, except to play sport."
And with a suitcase at home packed with police sporting medals won at State, national and international levels, Neville is now poised to make his mark at future Australasian Masters Games.
"It doesn't matter at which sport, because I will have a go at anything," he says.