Born in England in 1964 Philip’s family emigrated to South Africa in 1975 age 11. He completed his schooling in 1982 and was called up to do compulsory National Service. He was naturalized in order to do so. It was not optional and in January of 1983 he was one of the thousands of that years intake to the Medical Corps (SAMS) and served his adopted country in the years ’83 to ’84. He spent most of this time in the then South West Africa (now Namibia). After his National Service he joined the Sandton Fire Brigade in January 1985; a fully fledged Emergency Service covering Fire, Ambulance and Rescue. In 1990 Philip visited his parents who’d returned to England and after 10 years he left the service in 1995, having risen to the rank of Leading Fire-fighter (now Platoon Commander) and Intermediate Care Provider (AEA/AMA).
He moved to Cape Town where he worked in three different private Ambulance services until 2005. He qualified as an advanced life support Paramedic in 2003. One of only three to do so, in a school of hundreds. By 2004 Philip started working on offshore oil rigs in Angola (Namibia’s northern neighbour) and during his breaks came home and carried on with emergency care in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.
Philip now works permanently for a large offshore drilling company in the role of Health and Safety and through dedication and study has risen to the top of his field. He has completed his Nebosh ICG and numerous other safety courses where he now inspects rigs and trains staff in safe operating procedures on oil rigs.
Why did he write “The Other Perspective”?
Once Philip had left the world of emergency care and looked back on what was 20 years of fire and ambulance and rescue he felt he was in a vacuum; he had gone from treating “Gunshot Head” in the notoriously dangerous Cape Flats housing area to “Athletes Foot” on an oil rig. The extreme and fast paced world of emergency care was gone. He earned much more but the adrenalin rush of getting a call and the pressure of diagnosis, treatment and care was gone.
When people asked asked him what he did whilst working as a Paramedic they simply had no understanding of Emergency Medical Care, Fire-fighting and Rescue.
He says of their responses:
“Some would look down their noses at me! or say ‘That’s nice…’ or ‘Why did you do that?’ making it obvious they had no clue or interest in what it was I really did. It’s not their world so why should they know?
It was then that I decided to write a book, if only to make me feel better about my chosen career, but the real motivation was to give the average man in the street a small glimpse at the world of emergency care workers and what they experience every day.
This is what we do, what we feel and how we deal with it.
It’s not your average job, and through my eyes this book is a snapshot of that world.
Book 1 is the culmination of a huge manuscript I had written and had to split it into 2 after several publishers suggested this approach. Book 2 is perhaps more in your face, more action than Book 1 and will be released once Book 1 has gained support and sold well.
I did not plan on writing a book during my time in the various services so the writings are of my recollection alone. I hope you the reader enjoy it and will come away with a greater appreciation of what emergency care workers do around the world and thus I hope it helps you become an ambassador for all those who do this thankless job.
Thank you for your support!”
Cape Town. South Africa.