I am writing these ambulance stories as they occur to me.
I worked for a private ambulance company called Wings, based in Bristol. We had a great bunch of people working there. Some were fairly quiet, some a little more extrovert and some were an absolute riot. I suppose I fitted somewhere in the middle, but this chap took the biscuit:
Here is another photo of him, full of fun:
I took the photo of the the three of them for the company magazine. I always took the photographs. On this occasion the three of them were just back from an intensive 5-day ambulance driving course in Cornwall and passed their Drive 2 exam, which meant they were now qualified to drive ambulances for emergency calls, using blue flashing lights and sirens. Well done you three.
They were great friends, Phil, about 26 and an ex-paratrooper from an elite army regiment, Charlie, a lovely girl and, Mike, about 40's.
I was about 20 years older than Mike but very fit in my ambulance days and could keep up with any of them:
Here is one of me with Charlie:
We were all good friends at Wings and I suppose there must have been over 30 ambulance staff, comprising both sexes - one big happy family. We were all so sad when it disbanded.
One day we were lifting some heavy gear and Phil and Mike were quite surprised to see me managing so well and remarked that they were a bit surprised I could do it so easily.
I laughed and said, "They don't make 'em like they used to", and challenged them right there and then to an arm wrestling contest. The just laughed and said, "You must be joking - you stand no chance - ok show us!"
Off we went and found a desk and I said to Mike, "You first!"
He said, "Are you sure? you stand no chance - I'll pulverise you!" , because he was about 20 tears younger, you see.
I said, "We'll see!"
I said, "We'll see!"
Anyway we started left hand first and I saw him wince after a minute and start really straining and then over went his arm. Same using the right arm - he stood no chance and they both were flabbergasted and we all started laughing.
Then it was Phil's turn, remembering he was 26 and an ex paratrooper and I was 60. I said, "Are you sure you want to go through with this?" He was in hysterics and then we settled down to some serious arm wrestling.
Well I did not beat him with either arm . . . but he did not beat me either . . . . it was stalemate!!
They were both so stunned - bet I couldn't do it now!
Oh what fun we had.
I have often wondered what happened to these guys - I see some of the others from time to time and we always give one another a big hug when we meet.
It was all great fun and a privilege to serve in the Ambulance Service and boy, don't I miss it.