Under the Blue Lights

Under the Blue Lights

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I joined the Essex Ambulance Service on 21 April 1981 at the tender age of twenty-one. I underwent training at Witham and in the first year completed the driver training and ambulance aid training, both of which were conducted at Markfield in Leicestershire. When all this training was completed, I was ready to undertake emergency calls, and as all new students, I was indeed very excited but nervous on what I would face dealing with people when they face life-changing emergencies. I was pleased to be working with David as any new individual needed the experience and guidance of colleagues. I can remember sitting in the vehicle outside Southend Hospital when our radio was activated, and I was given my first emergency call. You hoped for something simple, straightforward that would settle the nerves and that would not involve all your new-found skills being brought to the fore on the first call. I was to be disappointed. The call was given as a gas explosion: An elderly person was involved. My mind raced as to what to expect and more importantly what I would do. Dave was great; he was calm, professional, and experienced. We set off with Dave driving and me worrying. We arrived with the fire service. There had been a gas explosion, but it was a small gas fire. The injuries were not life-threatening, and we treated my very first 999 call with Dave standing shoulder to shoulder, guiding and supporting. The patient was conveyed, and the emergency call went well. I remember this call very vividly as it was my first call, and since then thirty years have passed. I have gone from that ambulance man to now ensuring we still deliver high-quality patient care across Essex as the general manager for this region. Over the years, I have worked with many new people, and that first lesson from Dave paid dividends as that supportive and guiding nature is invaluable to people undertaking this challenging role. There were many other occasions I worked with Dave, and from that point, I have progressed and indeed am extremely grateful for those early formative years.On this shift, I was driving an older Ford Transit manual gearbox ambulance. I switched on blue lights and the two-tone horns, and off we went. Along the air I went da, da, da. I was doing a speed of about 60 mph. We could see the RTA aboutanbsp;...

Title:Under the Blue Lights
Author:David Sheldrake
Publisher:Xlibris Corporation - 2011-06-21


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