Ambo ready for road
JEREMY Maitland-Smith was 40 when he considered himself too old to study paramedicine.
Fortunately for him, St John Ambulance staff felt differently.
At the time, the Coolbellup resident had spent a handful of years as a volunteer ambulance officer in the Kimberley.
It was a role that showed him exactly what he would experience as a full time professional, with the 42-year-old not shying away from the realities of the job.
His experience and calm head under the pressures meant he was an ideal candidate to snap up an Aboriginal student ambulance officer scholarship with St John Ambulance, which offered him the chance to further his training at Curtin University.
“After spending a bit of time volunteering in Wyndham with my wife I thought it was something I could do as a job,” he said.
“I went to the conference but I said: ‘I’m too old’. Fortunately they thought I’d be mature and experienced, and after doing all the testing I moved down in December.”
Mr Maitland-Smith is about to wrap up his first year of study before he hits the road as an ambulance officer in early 2017, a position similar to his volunteer role. He said the aim was to return to the Kimberley once his four years of training and studies were up, where he hopes his story will inspire others.
“My long term goal is to inspire Aboriginal people to do the same thing,” he said.
“More indigenous people should take part in opportunities like this.”
The Aboriginal student ambulance officer scholarship is funded by the State Government’s Royalties for Regions scheme.
Jeremy Maitland-Smith: First year done.
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