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“My experience as my mum's carer revealed to me the magnitude of the NHS and the impact it has on people's lives”
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From carer to first responder

Alex Grant

Student paramedic Alex GrantAt the age of ten I became a carer for my mum. She’d suffered an accident that left her with a disability. She found it hard to undertake basic tasks like shopping or household chores and so from this young age I had to step up. My experience as my mum’s carer revealed to me the magnitude of the NHS and the impact it has on people’s lives. Ever since then, I’ve known that my future career would involve helping others.

Fast forward six years and I was volunteering with St John Ambulance at music festivals. While other people my age were out getting themselves into predicaments, I was there looking after them. It confirmed what I’d already known for years and so when I reached 18, as soon as I could, I applied to study for a degree in Paramedic Science at ARU.

It felt like a natural progression as the University has ties to the London Ambulance Service, and I was out getting experience in the field with them right from the start. However, the way I approached it all at the time was intense. Between my studies and the volunteering it meant that I sometimes had 18-hour days. That wasn’t always easy, but the experience was invaluable and I’m at my happiest when I am hands-on in the situation – that’s just who I am.

My dream has always been to work for London’s Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS). The experience with the vehicle ambulance service was a great start, but I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do volunteer media work for HEMS. This included photographing the helicopter medics on-the-job, which enabled me to network and establish contacts and relationships. I’ve long had a passion for photography and film-making, and services like HEMS are always in need of extra media help. Combining my passions with my vocation has been fun, but it’s also been a great way to get my foot in the door and has helped set me apart from other recruits.

There are still many years and a lot of hard work ahead of me before I fully realise my dream; at least five years in the London Ambulance Service before I can apply for HEMS. But each day I’m working towards the future that I’ve wanted since childhood. I’m doing everything I can to help other people, and being a part of the healthcare service that has meant so much to me and my family.