Guernsey Press

Alderney’s first paid ambulance clinicians on duty soon

ALDERNEY’S new ambulance clinicians will soon be taking up their positions on the island.

Mike Lord and Maria Collier were two of Alderney’s four trainee ambulance clinicians who were on shift in Guernsey this weekend. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31920329)

The four trainees will start on 1 April.

It will be the first time Alderney has had full time-paid clinicians and the first time its ambulance service has been run by St John’s Ambulance and Rescue.

Mike Lord, Mel Walden, Maria Collier and Angela Etheredge are all Alderney residents and started their training on 25 January.

‘We wanted to recruit from Alderney to reinvest in the island,’ said St John communications officer Jim Cathcart.

Mrs Collier, who used to be a teacher, said she took up the role to support the place she calls home.

‘It was time to do something different and it’s also nice to be able to give back to my island.’

Mr Lord used to be a bricklayer and felt the same. ‘It’s what the island deserves to have full-time staff who are well trained. It’s a new chapter for Alderney.’

As part of the crew’s training, they have been travelling to Guernsey in turns to work four- day shifts, two staying in Alderney for classroom training.

It was the first time they had driven an ambulance.

Mrs Collier said the support and training provided by St John’s had been second to none.

‘Being on call here has been amazing, I’ve been exposed to so much and the advice given by St John’s has been so useful. I feel very ready to get started.’

During the training the team have learnt how to deal with major and minor injuries and have also been trained in emergency situations such as heart attacks and road accidents.

‘It’s been very intense and I’ve taken in a lot of new things,’ said Mr Lord.

When the crew first becomes operational, it will be supported initially by a member of the Guernsey staff who will be stationed temporarily in Alderney.

Every two months they will travel back to Guernsey to ensure there is no skill fade.

They will also be logging into a Teams meeting with St John’s every morning and have 24 hour access by phone to senior ambulance clinicians in Guernsey.

‘It’s linking both islands together,’ said Mr Cathcart.