“Once in green, always in green.”

That’s what a paramedic said to me recently – “Once in green, always in green.”. Its stayed with me, round and round my head. It’s true though, you never get away from the training, or the effects of the years of heavy lifting and other abuse you put your body through. Most of all, you never get away from the way it shapes your views on life.

I’m now a first aider in my current job, a position I “volunteered” to do, and had to undergo a day long training course for. There was an incident recently, and the duty first aiders were concerned so they asked for me. I was in the staff canteen and had just put my plate of food on the table. As I sat down a colleague ran into the room and explained what was going on. I left everything and went to see what I could do. Not until I walked away after the incident did I realise that I had taken over, passing requests to the person on the phone to the emergency call taker. By the time the ambulance crew arrived, I had done all the tests and checks I was able to and I gave a reasonable handover. Then I said “I’ll leave you to it, it’s not my job anymore”. That’s when they said it: “Once in green, always in green”. I knew the paramedic, they had been a help to me when I first started.

I later apologised to the duty first aiders for walking in and taking over. “You didn’t forcefully take over. You did your job. You looked like you’re missing it too” one of them said. Back in the staff room I reheated my food…just like the old days.

After much thought I’ve come to the conclusion that you choose to be part of an ambulance service but, once you are part of it, you don’t ever get to walk away. It affects you and your life in many different ways. I’ve already repeated it a few times in this post, but it’s still going round in my head – “once in green, always in green”.

Part of me likes that, part of me is not so sure..

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