How volunteering with St John Ambulance helped me on my
way to become a paramedic
Jodie Gough, student at the University of West
England tells us about how volunteering for St John Ambulance was a
stepping stone to study Paramedic Science.
It was during Freshers’ Fair at university when I grew bored and
spotted some guys in green at a stall. I wandered over to admire
their uniform, and my life hasn’t been quite the same since.
First aid was something I wanted and needed to learn, and at this
point I had never even heard of a first aid unit in university. I’d
faced multiple situations where a little first aid knowledge
could’ve come in handy, including an incident when my friend’s
heart stopped whilst in a bathroom with me.
I was studying English and drama at university, and hadn’t
considered a career in health care. I quickly began devoting all my
time to St John Ambulance, attending as many duties as I was
allowed. I soon realised that the three-year-old girl who
used to dress up as a surgeon was still within me, and I had
the best brainwave ever: I should become a paramedic.
I attended an interview for Paramedic Science at the University
of West England in December in 2016. My only experience in
health care has been entirely thanks to my role within St John
Ambulance. Because of the incredible people I have met, I have
shadowed Emergency Department consultants, attended an Emergency
Medicine conference, and volunteered over 300 hours within a few
months. It was down to this experience that I was offered a place
on the course the very next day.
I have been incredibly lucky with the duties I’ve attended. I
was on the finish line for London Marathon, in a FIT team for
V-Fest and attended duties such as the London to Brighton Bike Ride
and Wimbledon. The dream is to crew an ambulance with my boyfriend
Luke (who I also met through St John Ambulance) as a paramedic.
Volunteering for St John Ambulance has been an honour, and I hope
to be part of the organisation for many years to come.
Want to see more?
Some of our student volunteers have been busy vlogging. Take a
look at our playlist on our St John Ambulance YouTube channel.
Student volunteer vlogs