Ben Adam is one of Guernsey’s newest paramedics. He studied at St George’s, University of London before returning to the island last year, but he wasn’t always destined for an ambulance career.
After leaving school in Guernsey, Ben went to the UK where he started a degree apprenticeship programme with Jaguar Land Rover as a design engineer, however he soon realised that the Monday to Friday routine working in design studios was not for him, so he initially moved back to Guernsey and got a job on the non-emergency patient transport service (NEPTS).
Soon after his training he was appointed to the role of Emergency Care Assistant working between NEPTS and the emergency ambulance service.
“I thoroughly enjoyed this style of working and quickly aspired to reach the more clinically senior rank of paramedic leading to my application to university.”
“I enjoy working in a team environment, meeting new people every day – and hopefully having a positive impact on their and their family’s lives.”
Ben says the experience he gained as an ECA was hugely beneficial to his degree studies. “The fundamentals of this job will always be the same; how to talk to a patient and the ability to see if a patient is ‘big sick’ or ‘little sick’ is something that has been paramount since the inception of such a profession.”
Ben is following in his father’s footsteps. His dad is Paramedic Station Officer Andy Adam, who is also Guernsey’s longest serving paramedic.
“Growing up with a paramedic as a dad seemed normal to me. Although we couldn’t always eat together as a family every day or celebrate things on the correct day, he’d often manage to turn up to the important events like Christmas, albeit often in uniform with his radio close to hand.”
“His long career and the fact he has always seemed to enjoy his job and the people he works with was also a factor in my decision to become a paramedic.”
The three year university course included fundamentals of healthcare, legislation, pathophysiological (the St George’s course is the only paramedic science course in the UK to have access to a cadaver laboratory), critical illness and injuries.
Ben also had the opportunity to work alongside the London ambulance service and gain experience of different systems and ways of practice, as well as training alongside medical students and being educated by professors and consultants from across the UK.
According to Ben the best thing about the job is ‘the people’.
“It is both the patients and that feeling that you’ve helped or made a difference; and the colleagues and the camaraderie that you experience with the team – after all you spend more time with your colleagues than your own family.”
One day Ben hopes to become a paramedic mentor and help develop clinical practice on island.