Carmelo Alongi

Carmelo Alongi is a student who has just started his training at University with the London Ambulance Service to become an EMT and eventually a Paramedic. Hopefully this blog will allow an interesting insight for everyone into the process of training tomorrow's Paramedics, and a chronicle of my life as I progress. I blog under this name as a tribute to my Italian Grandfather, Carmelo Alongi.

Monday, November 13, 2006

"Eyes and ears open, mouth shut"

Sir, may I kindly direct you to the last portion of my last post. It may have came across in a manner that befits a Uni bod, and that's the way it should have been as that's what I am. For that I make no apologies, I'm simply commenting using my meager experience as a background. I apologise if any offense was taken due to this post, it was all very much in jest.

Out on the road do you think I'm stupid enough not to realise how this looks to all you seasoned road staff if said out in the open? If you kindly look through my back records you will see how much I agonize at length about being young in this profession, how much I really do not want to stick my size 12 feet in it.

" "Eyes and ears open, mouth shut" was the advice given to me when a trainee, and it works wonders. "

Wise words. Believe me when I say I mutter pretty much the exact same motto to myself everytime I go anywhere or do anything to do with the ambulance service, and that's without TO's telling me to shut up. Its just sometimes this blog is one of the only outlets I can let go some frustration generated by this ritual, especially hard being a generally loud person. The other being my Missus and family (cheers guys).
This blog is the place I can shout about how geekishly happy I am to wear my uniform for the first time, the place I can say I still get excited when I see an ambulance on blue lights. This is the place I can say about how genuinely excited I am about embarking on my dreams.
I'm very much aware of how somebody quickly becomes branded a "fool" in this business, and I can assure you I am not one.

May I quote a certain Donald Rumsfeld:

The Unknown

As we know, there are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know there are known unknowns.
That is to say we know there are some things we do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

(For those of you who did check out the Big White Taxi Service a while back, this is pretty much the exact thing they crucify people for- so if this blog suddenly stops because I've been killed you know where to go... but on the other hand I'm banking nobody over there cares enough about this to give a toss. We're all winners!)


  • At 1:49 pm, Blogger Dianne said…

    Carmelo, some people how ever experienced (myself included) can fall into the trap of taking themselves too seriously.

    You seem well balanced and good humoured to me.

    I appreciate your sense of fun :~)

  • At 6:28 pm, Blogger traineeparamedic said…

    I wouldnt worry about it. You've stated you're reasons so that should be the end of it, dont let it bother you.

  • At 7:09 pm, Anonymous drunkenspaniel said…

    Its the people who don't know that they don't know that you need to worry about. They're the dangerous ones.....

  • At 11:46 pm, Anonymous ecparamedic said…

    Don't ever stop asking when you don't know. You'll keep yourself employed and your patients safe.


  • At 6:28 pm, Blogger Roses said…

    At the risk of coming to the party late...

    It seems to me someone just had a bad day and a sense of humour failure and it's just got out of control.

    The whole point of being a newbie is to ask questions, take risks, get on peoples' nerves. Because if you didn't, you wouldn't be doing your job. Which is learning. The best learning is a two-way process.

    And quite frankly, I would have thought that his professional standing was such that he could take a bit of cheek, playfully delivered. No one ever thought he was incompetant or a pratt.

    Blogging isn't about keeping your eyes open and mouth shut. It's about calling it as you see it.

    I'll get my coat and go now.

  • At 8:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This job is about respect and so many uni bods don't understand. Many of you prattle on about your uniforms then totally ingnore the dress code...Your uniform alone does not make you an ambulance man or woman, the respect of your colleagues does.
    Why do you think its necessary to tell the world about yourself and how you feel..? I don't think you are doing any of your uni friends any favours by making yourself look like a big headed loud mouthed geek.

  • At 6:52 am, Blogger Lola Cherry Cola said…

    To anonymous, a lot of us bloggers think it's neccessary to tell the world how we feel because it's a way of release for us. Daily stresses, problems, and rants can be put up there to make us feel better. I know I've had a fair few pity parties on my blog about things I don't want to talk to my friends about. Carmelo is just doing that, writing how he feels. He's a good writer and it's a good blog.

    Yes, I imagine the job is about respect, but respect can be there while still having a bit of fun. I deeply respect my friends, and yet we will all take the mick something rotten. From what you're saying, anonymous, it seems like this is more like getting a feeling of superiority over people on the uni course, and because of that not letting them get away with a little tongue in cheek comment.

    Sorry for using your comments section as a bit of a message board, Carmelo.

  • At 8:43 am, Blogger Trainee Paramedic said…

    I actually think of my uniform as a sign to me that I am part of something a lot more important than myself. When I wear the uniform, I feel pride that i've been given the chance to give something back. I totally agree that the respect of you're colleagues is necessary, and wanted. I wouldnt want to spend my 2 years being hated. However, what do we do if the things were being taught as the 'proper' way, end up being done the 'bad habit' way out on the road. Are we expected to say something or not, at the risk of treading on someone's toes? That is the problem!

  • At 9:27 am, Anonymous kingmagic said…

    The Ambulance Service is a uniformed public service and by definition is therefore a disciplined service.
    Although the levels of discipline differ from individual to individual and from county to county. For many of us who are ex armed forces it is easy. We have had the banter, the piss taking to extremes, the savage rivalry between regiments or corps.
    In the Ambulance Service it is are your own boss out on the road and rely on self discipline. You can come to work and get away with doing little or you can do the job properly and call up for every job available.
    Thats where the experience comes need to find that happy medium. I know that even after a lot of years in the service I am still learning. We all are.
    I am still proud to wear the uniform, still feel privliged to be allowed to enter peoples homes and ask all sorts of searching questions and still enjoy my job/career/vocation call it what you will.
    There is a culture within the Ambulance Service of "keeping your head below the parapet". But this is only because a certain few staff have been allowed to knock others who are keen, especially newbies.
    My one piece of advice to all new trainees is ...."keep your standards high and dont let others drag you down."
    You will always piss someone off in the service...just as they will probaly piss you off. Keep up the good work and remember that you have your right to an opinion and if its taken the wrong way then tough thats their problem.


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