‘Proud to be a paramedic’ – our teams celebrate International Paramedics Day

Abinay student paramedic using the proud to be a paramedic selfie frame
Abinay, a student paramedic

To celebrate the first ever International Paramedics Day, the team in green from London Ambulance Service are sharing their stories about why they are #ProudToBeAParamedic, and are asking Londoners and those further afield to consider a rewarding career in a life-saving service.

Today’s inaugural International Paramedics Day, organised by the College of Paramedics in the UK, celebrates the work carried out by paramedics and first responders around the world. This date is the anniversary of the birth of Dominique-Jean Larrey, the man often referred to as the ‘father of modern-day ambulance services’.

John Martin, Chief Paramedic at London Ambulance Service, said:

“We are proud of all our staff and volunteers at the London Ambulance Service but today is a day to take pride in and celebrate paramedics – one of the most diverse and rewarding careers there is. Ending a busy day knowing that you have helped patients by saving a life, providing care to an injured person, or given treatment to someone in their own home, is truly satisfying.

“Working for one of the world’s busiest ambulance services offers an incredibly fulfilling career and will give people a sense of satisfaction that very few other jobs can. It takes a special person to be a paramedic, but once you have joined there’s no looking back.

“If you’re passionate about making a difference to the lives of Londoners then we’d love to hear from you. You do not need to have a medical background – we can provide you with all the training and development you need so you can begin making a difference as soon as possible.

“I’d like to wish all of our team, and paramedics across the globe, a very happy International Paramedics Day, and for those thinking about joining the profession – why wait?”

And it certainly is a good time to join – International Paramedics Day comes as the London Ambulance Service is once again named as the top NHS employer for apprenticeships in the country this week. The Service is one of only three NHS trusts in the country to make the rankings in the Department for Education’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers 2022.

Lisa Burrell
Lisa Burrell

As part of the International Paramedics Day celebrations, staff recorded messages and spoke of the reasons why they love their job. Lisa Burrell, who joined the service in 2006, works as an Advanced Paramedic Practitioner (APP) in Critical Care, based at Croydon Ambulance Station but has also worked in the helicopter emergency medical service (also known as London’s Air Ambulance).

She said: “It’s always very special to meet a patient after they’ve been treated and are on the path to recovery. I remember being called to a man who was suffering a cardiac arrest after a long bike ride.

“When I arrived at his side there were a lot of challenges that were stopping him getting the treatment he needed in a timely way. We worked hard as a team to save his life.

“Over the next few weeks I stopped by to visit him in intensive care whenever I could and met his family. Then one day when I visited he squeezed my hand, opened his eyes and mouthed ‘thank you’.

“That moment has always stayed with me.”

There are a wide range of other roles ‘on offer’ to paramedics at the London Ambulance Service, including becoming a cycle response paramedic, motorcycle response paramedic or a helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) flight paramedic, like Lisa. We also have paramedics working in our 999 and 111 control centres, providing care and advice to patients over the phone.

Kate Ljubic
Kate Ljubic

Our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) includes paramedics who are specially trained to provide care to patients at height (for instance at the top of a building) or in water. Our Tactical Response Unit paramedics – who work very closely with the police – are trained to care for patients during, for instance, a terror attack.

Kate Ljubic is a paramedic for the Tactical Response Unit.

She said: “When you start your shift, you never know where you could end up or what kind of jobs you’ll go to. You see humanity at its best and at its worst.”

“A stand out moment in my career was when I delivered two babies in one shift. Both babies were happy and healthy and the parents were very grateful. It’s not common to do two births back-to-back, so it’s a memory I will cherish for a long time.”

For more details about being a paramedic in London, visit: www.londonambulance.nhs.uk/jobs.

The service also offers roles in other areas, such as our 999 control rooms, corporate and administration.

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