Real-life story - Sally Davies
After working in customer services for 30 years, Sally decided that she was ready to move away from office work and that she needed to be out an about on the road.
On the ambulance, no two jobs are the same
I’d wanted to be a paramedic for a long time. I was a volunteer with the St John Ambulance for years and met a lot of paramedics and ambulance technicians. They all encouraged me to go for it but I thought I’d left it too late. At 45, I was sure I was too old, but it was absolutely not a problem. The minimum qualifications were three GCSEs or the equivalent. I only have two O levels and was told I would probably have to do an NVQ level 1 in customer care.
I left school at 16 and worked mainly for a utility company as a customer services adviser. I enjoyed being out and about on the road, meeting the public rather than stuck in an office.
Then last year I saw a recruitment ad for the ambulance service.
On a normal day, I carry out basic observations, take blood pressure, test blood sugars and generally assist the paramedic. The job is hugely satisfying and I love every minute of it.
The 12-week ambulance technician training course is quite intense. There’s a lot to take in and you have to stay focused but I was fine. You’re very well supported and you are given extra help if you’re finding it tough. I’m now into my 12 months as a trainee technician, working under supervision, and I hope to qualify next year.
After a year or two as a qualified ambulance technician, I’ll apply for paramedic training. I made it clear from the word go that my aim was to be a paramedic and I was told that it was absolutely down to me. All the training and support would be there. If I put in the work and the commitment, then I could do it.