Emergency Ambulance Crew Verity Reinke

Emergency Ambulance Crew Verity ReinkeI’m from Adelaide and spent a few years as a voluntary life saver there. I was out on jet skis and speedboats rescuing people, doing CPR on boards in the sea. I found it exciting and fulfilling – it made me want a career where I could help people.

I thought about the police, before training as a security guard – but I really wanted to be a paramedic. I made that happen with London Ambulance Service. I got my visa and I’m now in the Emergency Ambulance Crew, working closely with paramedics.

Moving from Adelaide to Europe’s biggest city was an incredible change. I couldn’t believe the volume of people and the pace of life in London. I found it amazing how close you are to everything – you can get a patient to hospital within minutes. Learning to drive fast and negotiate the London traffic was the biggest hurdle for me. I even learned to drive a ten ton truck in the snow to get the licence I needed for the Service. That was great fun.

There are better opportunities for career progression here than anywhere else. My role is changing and is being 'up-skilled' at the moment, so I’m learning to give more advanced drugs and intramuscular treatment. Being exposed to more diverse cases and more exciting challenges is really improving my clinical skills. I work in Ilford, which has a really diverse population, so we see lots of cases of tuberculosis. I’d never get exposure to that in Australia – we haven’t even had the vaccination there for about 35 years.

Nothing can beat the experience of working in this city. It’s busier, faster and more exciting than anywhere else. There can’t be anything more beautiful than driving over Tower Bridge in the middle of the night at the end of a shift – it’s a really good feeling.