The LAS and speed humps
For my sins, I realised fairly quickly that I wasn't cut out for a 9 to 5, Monday to Friday job so after being a salesman, living in Germany for a while, motorcycle couriering and selling 'ladycare' (tampons and toilet rolls) for which I was sacked because, frankly, I couldn't whip up the evangelistic fervour required for these products, nor the necessary indignation when a cold-called client said no, I applied for various fire brigades and ambulance services.
The London Ambulance Service (LAS) said yes first. This was not due to my outstanding medical talent, but because they were desperate, not too choosy and doing intakes of about 400 trainees a year when I applied.
Anyway I ended up doing OK at the job, became a Paramedic, then a Training Supervisor, then a Training Officer and driving instructor. Then they offered an Honours Degree in Paramedic Science course so I applied for it...and spent 5 years (part time) studying. The culmination of the Honours part involved undertaking some undergraduate research and, having driven and treated patients while negotiating those blasted speed humps (yes, I'm biased!), I investigated this part of emergency prehospital care. The research has been peer reviewed, published, and presented at various national and international seminars - you can read it and decide for yourself here.
Needless to say I get hate mail and love mail (is that the opposite?!) - there's even some idiot out there who has a website dedicated to me (ooh, praise indeed!) and specifically claiming my research is
"...little more than a bit of politically motivated and rather clever mischief by someone who knew full well how his research would be used by the right-wing press and anti-speed control groups"and that
"...It was initiated by a fan of Lotus sports car[s] (and presumably the speed they are capable of), [and] was spun by the car-centric media and ultimately related not to the impact of speed humps per say, [sic - I think s/he means per se] but the impact of all delays on response times, including those caused by congestion. What's more even the claim regarding the supposed reduced mortality rate for cardiac patients with a one minute decrease in response times is itself highly dubious." [Care to read the Grampian Region Early Anistreplase Trial (GREAT), or the Myocardial Infarction Triage and Intervention (MITI) Trial research?]Items in [ ] are mine for clarity (or a cheap dig at someone else's educational expense!)
Ah well. My friend is a little misinformed, but I got my degree and caused a debate - which is what education and free speech is all about!
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