Army Veteran now Emergency Care Assistant
What’s your Armed Forces background?
I served in the Army for 20 years as a chef. I initially joined an apprentice chef and then gained the qualifications and experience to work as a trained chef with several different Regiments and Battalions.
What interested you about joining the ambulance service?
I left the Army in 1996 and after working in catering management I joined a private ambulance provider. I was also heavily involved with my local Lowland Search and Rescue Team searching for high risk missing persons. These people could be suffering with illnesses such as dementia or people suffering poor mental health. Both these roles lead me to join the ambulance service as I thought the skills gained in both would complement my future as an emergency care assistant (ECA).
My former role gave me a great insight into the roles within the ambulance service. I have lots of experience dealing with the sick and injured and decided that SCAS would be a great move for me.
What transferable skills gained in the Armed Forces do you utilise in your role with SCAS?
I think the main ones are staying calm and level headed, whatever I come up against. Others are having a can do attitude, get up and go, lateral thinker, creative problem solver and I have lots of life experiences that helps me to relate to the patients and members of the public I come across.
What do you enjoy most about working for SCAS?
I really enjoy the camaraderie between my colleagues; we are all very close and spend lots of time together. SCAS has really good training opportunities – you’re not pressured to progress but the option is there for all if you wish to take it.
It’s great being an ECA; in this role I have been able to witness colleagues perform in other roles and I have a great understanding of the work that they do and the pressures faced when out on the road responding to an emergency.
I’m proud to be able to represent SCAS at recruitment events and local schools/colleges; here we talk openly about the roles that we perform in the Trust and answer questions from out stakeholders – this in itself can be very fulfilling.
What advice would you give someone thinking about leaving the Armed Forces who may be interested in working for SCAS?
You don’t need to have medical expertise to work at SCAS, just a caring nature. There is lots of training when you initially start and as long as you are passionate and enthusiastic about learning you will be just fine. The Military imbeds a number of qualities within you – my main piece of advice would be, don’t underestimate yourself.