Cycle Seahaven means a lot of things to a lot of people. For some it is a way of having fun with like-minded people, for others, it’s been a lifeline. For one young man, it shaped his career choice. Here’s his story:
I joined Cycle Seahaven because my mum, Louise Pye, became a member. As one of the younger members of the club, I wasn’t to deterred by riding with the older members because I enjoy getting out on my mountain bike and participating in club rides.
It was one of those rides that changed the direction of my life. We were in the forest and one of the male riders in the group rode into one of the bomb holes/craters. Apparently, he had done this many times before but this time he misjudged it and crashed. He was obviously concussed and we didn’t know what was wrong with him, so we called for an ambulance. Because of the location and the difficulty of access for vehicles, the air ambulance was called and it landed in a field nearby not long afterwards. Fortunately, the rider didn’t need it but he did get admitted to hospital and was kept in overnight.
Cycle Seahaven had organised several first aid courses in the past and these were open to Ride Leaders and members of the club. The two-day course didn’t cost much and I thought it would be a handy skill to have if someone I was riding with ever fell off.
I did the course in 2017 and absolutely loved it. The training was brilliant, with a focus on the type of injury a cyclist might sustain. It finished with a practical exercise in the forest and left me wanting to learn more.
As a result, I decided to join St John Ambulance in 2018. They gave me further training and I became an Operational Cadet First Aider. This gave me the chance to attend small and large events, providing first aid to members of the public.
When I turned 18 I assisted the cadets as an adult staff member, training them in first-aid. As I progressed in St John I started to undertake some management roles too. It was at about this point I realised I wanted to join the Ambulance Service and become a Paramedic.
There were two routes open to me, go to university for 3 years or join the service and work my way up. So I decided to go for option 2.
I then I spend the next few years gaining as much experience as possible. I became a Team Leader at the Amex stadium, a First Responder for a medical company and a Dementia Specialist
After this, I applied for the role of Apprentice Associate Ambulance Practitioner in the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMBS). I was accepted in April 2020.
I then spent 18 weeks during the lockdown, doing clinical training. I am now out on the road working full time responding to 999 medical emergencies. I’m really enjoying it.
I hope to become a paramedic in the next couple of years. All this because of Cycle Seahaven and a bloke falling off his bike!