Some of you (well, quite a few of you probably) will be aware that I’ve applied to South Wales Police to be a Special Constable. I’ve managed to get to interview stage and by the end of next week I hope I’ll know whether I’ve got to the next stage.

I’ve had a few people asking me why I want to join the police, and while the answer is complicated and multi-faceted it boils down to one event. A few months ago I was out third manning with a paramedic. We spent the evening on the Rapid Response Vehicle responding to calls around Bargoed. It was a Saturday evening and most of our calls were to drunk people, although a few of the people we saw really did need our help – like the woman with a third-degree heart block who was rushed in. To top it all off, it was the evening after the day that Wales beat England at Rugby in Twickenham – what a day!

It was late, and we were driving up through the center of Bargoed when I spotted around a dozen young men and woman (mostly men) fighting next to a parked car. We came to a halt and Rich flicked the blue lights on. I looked out of the passenger window at the men who were almost lying on top of the car’s boot and for a second, they all stopped and turned to look at the lights…until they realised it was an ambulance car and they went back to their fight. Richard, calling for police backup on the radio, got out of the car and I joined him as we approached the group. The next few minutes passed very quickly as a woman was accidentally knocked over by the fight and when she went down her head hit the kerb. Rich rushed over to help, keeping her still while he assessed her and tried to keep the group at bay. The police arrived and immediately started chasing the ones running away, followed by a second unit which came over and helped us make the scene safe – by this point, Rich had ascertained that the woman wasn’t injured, just very, very drunk.

What really made me concerned was how I reacted – it was an uncomfortable and volatile situation and I shrank back from it. I wasn’t much use to Rich, and I hated that. I hated being that uncomfortable with that situation.

I’ve faced this before. Most relevantly when dealing with casualties in Mountain Rescue – theory and classroom exercises will only take you so far, and when faced with a real, live person, with complex problems that don’t quite fit the textbook…

So, realising that I needed something that I wasn’t getting – experience – I went looking for it. The ambulance service provided the ideal place to get that experience and meet my innate need to help people – the First Responder scheme. In a very short period of time, I got more experience than I had in my entire time in Mountain Rescue. Over two years several things have happened. I’ve had a lot more experience of dealing with people – sufficiently so that I’m comfortable with dealing with casualties now. The second thing is that my role in the team has changed. I’ve still got my qualification with Mountain Rescue, but recently I (along with two others) started training to be Party Leaders – consider it the management track within Mountain Rescue.

Those two things coupled together meant that I needed experience of dealing with situations where I had to establish control and to lead people – something that working with the Police would be great for. Of course, I couldn’t do all of the things that I do – I’d need an extra 8 hours in every day. Conveniently, I’m tired of the politics of the Ambulance service and had decided to leave anyway.

So there it is.

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2 Responses to “Police!”

  1. Bronchitikat says:

    All the best with your Special Constabling. Though you’ll probably find there’s at least as much Politics there as in the Ambulance service.

    Unfortunately as soon as you get people together, & a potential hierarchy, you’ll get politicking. But you know that already.

  2. mally says:

    Hey Aled,

    Congrats on your news 🙂 I’m 2 weekends into the SC training, first duty will be 18/12 🙂