Monday, 26 March 2012

Five Words

Stepping into the office with an envelope in my hand, I was about to take one of the biggest steps in almost a decade.

"Need my signature on an application form, do you?"

It was an obvious question for my boss to ask considering the fact that once again, the coveted places on the air ambulance had been advertised. That, and the fact that he had no idea of my real motives.

"Not quite!" I answered, handing him one of the copies of the letter. He looked down at the piece of paper, the cheap and nasty stuff that the ambulance service has started to use recently in yet another cost-cutting exercise. The confusion on his face said it all.

"You're sure about this are you?"

"Quite sure."

"Can we do anything to change your mind?"

"Not unless you're packing the LAS into a suitcase and sending it with me."

Handing in my notice was a great deal more traumatic than I had ever anticipated. I have loved my job. If not every minute of it, certainly as a career, as a way of life, I have loved it. But the time had come for a change that MrsInsomniac and I had been planning for some time. I'll write more about the change we're making in another post.

I've already had my final shift. It was initially scheduled to be a lonely solo shift on a rapid response unit, but luck had it that there was a student who needed a few extra hours out and about, so she joined me, hoping that my reputation for attracting "real" jobs would prove itself in reality. It didn't, but it gave us time to talk. Time for me to pass on a little of my questionable wisdom and for her to ask questions, question my answers and answer my challenges too.

Towards the end of the shift, she threw me a curve-ball.

"If you had to sum up your career in four words, how would you do it?"

"Four words? I'm not sure I can. Am I allowed five?"

"You can have five. It's my leaving present."

It took me some time. We attended another call, handed another patient to yet another crew and still my mind's rusty cogs whined and creaked to come up with some cohesive thought. Eventually, in a dull flash of panicked inspiration, I had it.

"Tried to make a difference." It really does some it all up.

It speaks of the patients who had no-one else to care for them, it speaks of the families suddenly bereaved, it speaks of the babies brought into the world.

It speaks of the children who were left battered and bruised by their very own flesh and blood, and others who were nothing if not heroes to their families.

It speaks of the people who just needed to hear a voice tell them that help is at hand, and it speaks of those pleading for help for their loved ones.

I hope it speaks of the students I worked with, studied with, taught and learned from.

I hope it speaks of the people who read this blog, those in the know and those who hope that they will become more in the know by reading it.

I tried. Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I failed, but I tried. In most cases, I'll never really know.

My move takes me away from the London Ambulance Service, but not away from the world of the ambulance. The blog will continue (considering the accolade it has just received, it couldn't really not). For some time it'll be based on the scribbled notes that already sit in my diary, and soon stories will be told from new notes, new patients, whilst looking out over new horizons.

And if nothing else works out, I'm still proud of who I've become, what I've achieved, and the experience that I've gained. I'm proud of this blog. I'm proud to call some of the best ambulance staff out there my friends. And I'm still proud of those five words.


Freddie said...

Good luck in the change, IM!! The blog still perks up my day. Fx

JacFranko said...

A brave new adventure! I hope you will share stories from your new journey with us. I've loved reading your blog and look forward to hearing all about your future endeavors. Best of luck, Jx

Tom said...

My friend it takes a bold man to make the big changes. I'm glad you've done what'll make you happy. I'll be interested to see what you're up for next. I get the same feelings even though I'm only just setting out in the NHS as a student nurse.

Anonymous said...

Good luck IM ..... The NHS have lost a true role model in the paramedic world!

Capt. Schmoe said...

Good luck Insomniac Medic!

I am quite sure that you will succeed in whatever it is that you have decided to do.

Best to you and Mrs. Insomniac.

petrolhead999 said...

Good luck, I'm glad you're continuing the blog - I started to panic there!

I hope you're moving to Sussex, that's where I live!

Kelvin said...

Good luck in the future.

Lizzie barnett said...

Best of luck - bold moves, please keep writing.x

Anonymous said...

not that my job/career is anything like yours - but the one time i voluntarily resigned from a job was the single biggest mistake of my life so far.

really hope this all works out for you!

Anonymous said...

You are a massive loss to the LAS. You're a good medic, have an awesome personality and sence of humour... And best of all you put patient care as your priority. When I grow up I want to be a medic like you! You don't particularly know me, you don't need to. I've never done a shift with you and you have never PPED'd me but the things I've learnt from your handovers on the car have been priceless. I don't think you realise what an influence you have been on a lot of people. Good luck with your future in far off lands and hope you keep up the good work as a medic and that many more get to learn from you...

MSgt B said...

Fair winds and following seas.

Freddie said...

You made me cry :(

Liseymarie said...

That post brought a tear to my eye. Your blog cemented my decision to apply to become an ambulance technician, and I am pleased to say i'm starting that course on the 30th of July. I only hope I can deliver the kind of service that you write about on here.

Good luck for the future :)


Monte said...

Best of luck. I am a new reader and will spend time reading your old posts.

Geoff said...

Well that kinda sucks...I didn't even find your blog until after you'd already won and now your leaving! I have quickly caught up and enjoy your blogging, will be looking forward to your continuation. Don't know where your headed, but I'll be curious to see if you find the same things I found when I made my big move. Good luck!

popeyemoon said...

"Tried to make a difference." I will make a difference. keep on making on a difference.

Anonymous said...

Wow that was a shock, take care and good luck with your next venture.
Please keep us posted.
Best wishes to you both.

melmel said...

Good luck IM!!! Keep blogging we would all miss you too much if you didn't. Curious to read the next chapter in ur story as been reading for some time now.

Hope this move makes u & mrs happy :)

Anonymous said...

Wishing you all the best in your new career! I've loved your blog and am so happy you're going to keep at it. Thank you for your stories - I do think that you've succeeded in making a difference for so many people.

Anonymous said...

Queensland or New South Wales mate? Good luck either way, Paramedic Pete.

Ash said...

Remind me of the white can post from November.

Hope you enjoy your future


feklfekl said...

I want to thank you for this blog. I discovered it two days ago and have just finished reading all the archives when I clicked back to find this. I wish you luck in your newest career but most if all I want to thank you for a heartbreaking, heartwarming,hilarious ,inspiring and most of all fascinating blog.