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Archdeacon on call

19 September 2014

SO NOW he knows what it is like to be answering 999 calls. The Archdeacon of Newark, in the diocese of Southwell & Nottingham, the Ven. David Picken (left in photo), recently spent a day in a fast-response vehicle with a paramedic, Carl Keeble, from the East Midlands Ambulance Service.

For Mr Keeble it was a "quiet" day, as they dealt with only five calls, but it was an interesting one for the Archdeacon. As well as a number of people seriously unwell, their most dramatic call was to an elderly man who had badly injured himself falling off a ladder. They were first on the scene, followed by road ambulances and the air ambulance.

"He had really made a mess of himself," the Archdeacon says. "We were the first there; then the ambulance turned up. We went to meet the air ambulance, and took its staff back to the scene. Everybody had to pitch in. The patient was flown to hospital because he was not fit enough to travel by road. It was fascinating, seeing the whole multi-disciplinary event coming together.

"I have to confess I did not realise how highly qualified paramedics are: it is now a graduate-entry profession, and senior paramedics often have a Master's [degree]."

Mr Keeble said that it was the first time he had taken a senior member of the clergy out on shift. He had found him easy to work with, and they had had some "very useful discussion around end-of-life pastoral support; and also identified that the placement might be beneficial to other appropriate clergy".

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