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Carol Furber case study – win!

Written by RSS Poster Jerome Mowat on the 15th April 2012 at 23:27 - Posted in Ambulance Blogs

A few months ago I entered the Carol Furber case study competition hosted by the College of Paramedics, the professional body of the UK ambulance service in the UK. It's an excellent organisation that represents and campaigns for the profession. It also runs many extra-cirricular training sessions for ambulance techs, paramedics and students. The case study was limited to 1000 words, and other than the need for it to be reflective, the criteria was relaxed. I entered because I thought I might...
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Abuse at Winterbourne View

Written by RSS Poster Jerome Mowat on the 08th April 2012 at 18:22 - Posted in Ambulance Blogs

It was the first Monday back after three weeks of driving. The mood was boisterous, mainly because  university was a welcome relief. We were tired of Bethleham and tired of the monotony of driving. Exciting at times, it could also be, well, a bit boring. It was after the third time I had fallen asleep in three days (as a passenger, promise) that I got ‘the talk’ from Klippity Klop on taking the course seriously. For some inexplicable reason, in the most unlikely setting of the station car...
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My first blue light run...

Written by RSS Poster Jerome Mowat on the 04th April 2012 at 16:28 - Posted in Ambulance Blogs

…lasted a gripping three seconds. We went all of about fifteen yards, maybe twenty. In the middle of the driving course, our DTU was summoned to Greygobble university to stand in for some promotional shots for the course, or so we were told. The closer we got to the time, the more the expectations of us were increased. Klippity was on the phone to our lecturer, Master Limehouse: ‘what’s that? A scenario? You want them to carry out a scenario? Which will be filmed?’ I exchanged looks with...
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Emergency driving course: the final appraisal

Written by RSS Poster Jerome Mowat on the 28th March 2012 at 10:28 - Posted in Ambulance Blogs

It was the third time we were driving round the block. The reason? I had failed to park in the way Klippity wanted to me to park. I drove around sheepishly, conscious of the stare I was getting from pedestrians who had just seen the same ambulance drive past three times. ‘It’s not me it’s him’ I felt like shouting out of the window. Instead I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, imagining the stress drop away – a personal technique I’ve developed for dealing with situations such as...
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Emergency driving course: feeling the pressure

Written by RSS Poster Jerome Mowat on the 22nd March 2012 at 17:15 - Posted in Ambulance Blogs

At the beginning of each day we get issued a route plan, no more than a sheet of paper with a list of place and road names. Before the first drive of the day we plot it on the road atlas. It’s the duty of those in the back to keep the vehicle on course, giving directions as we come to them. There’s an old school feel to our drives, thundering down country lanes with directions being shouted from the back. Faces close to the map, eyes frantic, flicking desperately between the four pages the route...
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Emergency driving course: when things go wrong

Written by RSS Poster Jerome Mowat on the 19th March 2012 at 19:12 - Posted in Ambulance Blogs

Yesterday hadn’t gone so well. I’d suffered from the chronic condition with acute episodes known as boredom. Boredom lead to lack of concentration, which lead to stupid errors in my driving. Twos and threes littered the offending page on my daily driving record, accompanied by a less than glowing report punctuated with exclamation marks. Today was a demanding drive to Bexleytail on the coast, taking in some fast country lanes. We were expected to ‘make progress’ on these roads, which basically...
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Emergency driving course: night drive (II)

Written by RSS Poster Jerome Mowat on the 15th March 2012 at 18:38 - Posted in Ambulance Blogs

It was dark, but the moon had been waning for just one day and was full. The sky was clear and shadows were cast by the haunting brightness. There was a strangeness to the night: somehow it was frozen in that moment when a rim of the sun’s glow is present on the horizon. My optic centre thought it was early morning; my suprachiasmatic nucleus told it not to be ridiculous, it was quarter past midnight. ‘It’s like dawn coming over the horizon. I knew Dawn, lovely girl’ Klippity joked.The other...
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Emergency driving course: night drive (I)

Written by RSS Poster Jerome Mowat on the 13th March 2012 at 18:47 - Posted in Ambulance Blogs

Despite it being late in the day, cohort 09/11 was wired. There were enthusiastic greetings all round, as if the extra ten hours spent apart had been ten weeks. We had known about this aspect of the driving course from the very beginning, when Geoffrey Hot-Eyre gave us our introductory speech. In my mind it had assumed an importance beyond that of a drive in the absence of light, which, when it comes do it, is what it is. In my mind it was less an aspect of our training than an initiation, a ritual...
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Emergency driving course: the skid pan

Written by RSS Poster Jerome Mowat on the 10th March 2012 at 18:44 - Posted in Ambulance Blogs

The city is an uncanny place before the sun has risen in the morning. I cycle the same streets to get to Bethleham, the cohort’s promised land of paramedic knowledge, but these are not the same streets as the previous afternoon. I think they slumber during the day to numb the pounding they receive from foot and tyre, awakening at night under the unholy orange glow emitted from street lamps. Few bear witness to their stare: delivery drivers; shift workers; the more sober night-clubbers. Fewer are...
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Emergency driving course: week 1

Written by RSS Poster Jerome Mowat on the 05th March 2012 at 20:16 - Posted in Ambulance Blogs

Brake brake brake BRAKE BRAKE BRAKE! We were hurtling down the wonderful writhing country lanes found in this part of the country on an overcast Friday afternoon. The closer I got to each corner, the more urgent Klippity’s appeals became. It was a Pavlovian response, spurred by the very human desire for self-preservation. He had to say it on more than one occasion. That, together with ‘you’re speeding up. Why are you speeding up in the corner?’ Became the mantra for the day. The relentless...
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