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- Pursuing a career as a paramedic was something I was always interested in, but never seriously considered until the start of my second year studying History at the University of East Anglia. The interest that was sparked during my time as one of the designated First Aiders for the Universities’ Fell Walking Society grew into a passion, volunteering for Red Cross in Norwich, as well as the St John’s Ambulance LINKS society on campus. However it was not until I began volunteering for the SOS Bus Project that I was certain I had what it took to be a paramedic.
- The SOS Bus is project staffed by a variety of volunteers, including First Responders and First Aiders who work alongside youth workers and an ECP. The project responds to calls to clubs and bars, often dealing with drunk and vulnerable individuals, as well as providing basic first aid to avoid unnecessary emergency calls. When I turn up at the start of a shift, I have no idea what is going to occur that night. Each shift presents a unique challenge, which is something I love. It is a role that requires a thick skin and a lot of patience, but the sense of satisfaction at the end of each shift makes it more than worthwhile. It is extremely rewarding to see your actions have an immediate, positive effect on someone’s life. It could simply be helping a severely inebriated individual get a ride home, or it could be something more serious, such as dealing with the results of drunken fights or accidents.
- My work with the Red Cross has also had an important impact on my decision. It is often very different from shifts with the SOS Bus, as I do not have the support of the trained medical personnel. I am responsible for my decisions, which have a direct impact on another individual’s life.
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