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WALES: New ambulance boss gave up rock.

THE new boss of Wales' troubled ambulance operations gave up rock 'n'roll to become a paramedic.

Director of ambulance services Mike Cassidy played as a session musician in Scotland in the late 70s.

He shared venues with stars like Gerry Rafferty, Maggie Bell and Stone The Crows and remembers a riot at a club when a bouncer carried his piano clear of the melee with him still playing.

But he joined the Scottish Ambulance Service on the Isle of Bute, one of the Western Isles, in 1980.

Now Glasgow-born Mike, 48, is settling in at the Welsh ambulance headquarters at St Asaph, having moved his piano into a new apartment on Conwy's waterfront.

"I love classical music and jazz," said the ambulance chief, who has two grown-up daughters from his first marriage and is to marry his fiancee, Tracey, at Ruthin Castle on Valentine's Day.

He last served as director of operations in Merseyside alongside the Welsh ambulance service's new chief executive Alan Murray, where they turned round what had been branded the worst ambulance service in the country.

He has come to Wales to work again with Mr Murray.

He recently completed a public health course at Harvard University, USA, and gained a Masters in Business Studies at Caledonian University in Glasgow.

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Mike Cassidy, operations director at Wales Ambulance Service Picture: MIKE DEAN
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 22, 2007
Words:226
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