Motorcycle Ambulance Technician

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Name: Paul Keating. Age: 37. Salary: £21,450. Hours: 39 a week (average). Special requirements: Need basic life support training plus the completion of a three-week police motorcycle response course. Work Bike: Honda pan European ST1100. Bike Extras: Emergency drug packs, needles, oxygen cylinder and masks, fluid packs, paediatric life-support, reuscitation kits, defibrillator, suction units, dressings and bandages.

With an under-funded NHS and heavily congested roads ambulances are finding it increasingly difficult to reach emergencies in time – the London Ambulance service has turned to motorcycles for assistance. Paul Keating is one of nine motorcycle paramedics and ambulance technicians working in South London.

” I was an ambulance technician on the trucks for about 10 years and a job on the bikes came up so I thought I’d go for it. Bike jobs are quite rare, and the interview and selection are tough. I love riding a bike so to be able to do a job and ride fast, well, nobody’s going to turn that down. ” Paul has basic life support training and after getting the bike gig completed a three-week residential motorcycle course with the police. He now gets to life threatening emergencies within 8 minutes.

So how do people react when their ambulance comes in the form of a bike? ” Most people are very pleased to see you when you turn up. They’re happy to hand over the responsibility. But a lot of people don’t want a bike and they give you loads of abuse, sometimes physical. ”

Once the ambulance crew arrive he hands over to them and moves onto his next job. But despite seeing one emergency after another Paul admits it’s sometimes difficult to remain detached. ” We don’t get time to get too attached to a situation but sometimes it does bother you, especially with kids. But I wouldn’t want it not to.

What can you say to someone who’s just lost a kid? There’s nothing you can say. ” With punches flying about from unappreciative punters and the stress of life threatening situations what makes the job of a motorcycle paramedic worth doing? ” Riding a bike fast through London with the sirens wailing and the lights flashing. It’s a big buzz. There’s no feeling like it. I just love the job. ”

The London Ambulance Service are currently recruiting so if you fancy yourself as a biking paramedic call their 24-hour recruitment line: 0207921 5261

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff