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Being a paramedic is tough... But we love it
SOUTHEND paramedics will appear in the latest series of a flyon- the-wall documentary about what life is like on the front line for the emergency services.
Crews were followed by cameras filming Channel Four’s 999: What’s Your Emergency? on a number of shifts as part of the factual programme which gives viewers an insight into the ups and downs of the vital and tough job.
Emma Stevens, 34, from Shoebury, and crewmate of six years, Anna Potter, 32, from Little Wakering, both star in the Southend episodes of the second series, which started on Monday.
Anna has worked as a Southend paramedic for nine years and is shown cutting off a man’s top to treat stab wounds in Westcliff on the trailer for the new series.
She said: “Even though you’re used to being out in the public, you become really conscious of what you’ve said. I’m quite nervous, because I don’t know how they’re going to edit it or what they’re going to show.”
Ex-RAF medic Emma has worked as a Southend paramedic for 11 years, and says each day brings something new.
She said: “No two days are ever the same, and you get to meet people from all walks of life.”
Anna added: “Some people you meet really restore your faith in human nature, but there are other people who couldn’t give a stuff about anyone else. People often get angry and beep you because you’re blocking the road with the ambulance.
“The thing is, you often have people’s family members at a job, and you have to deal with having abuse hurled at your while you’re trying to save their relative.”
Dealing with serious incidents is a key part of the job, so Emma says having good colleagues is important.
“You don’t feel it at the time of the job because the adrenaline’s pumping and you’re focused on what you need to do,” she said.
“But when it slows down afterwards and you come back and talk to your fellow staff members – that’s when it starts to sink in.”
The crew attend thousands of calls every day throughout the county – last Tuesday, in a 24-hour period from 12am to 12am, paramedics in Essex attended 2,146 calls, and Anna says on weekends, that number can rise to more than 3,000.
With such a high number of calls being attended, it is inevitable there will be time-wasters according to Emma.
She said: “People know exactly the words to say to the operator to guarantee we have to come out and see them.
“We’ve been to jobs for blisters, shoes that are too tight – you see everything.”
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