Surviving the winter with Nick Ridley

It's cold out there but Nick and the crew are busy on the roads keeping you and your community safe

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“Over the last few months we’ve had some very cold weather so at the start of each shift I’ve made sure that we have plenty of blankets in the ambulance and the heater turned up” - Nick Ridley

As Nick Ridley settles into the second half of his year as a graduate paramedic, the cold weather has settled in across the region. As we all start to relax into winter and enjoy the winter sun, Nick and his new mentor Aaron are working hard on Red Shift to keep you and your community safe and well.  With a new shift comes new colleagues and friends, but Nick says all the staff are welcoming and he’s excited to start work with a new team.

“Over the last few months we’ve had some very cold weather so at the start of each shift I’ve made sure that we have plenty of blankets in the ambulance and the heater turned up” Nick says as he reflects on those who aren’t lucky enough to have warm and dry homes.

“Even simple medical conditions such as limited mobility can become increasingly difficult to manage when combined with near freezing temperatures”.

While Wellington Free Ambulance is called on to help in medical emergencies, it’s more than just an ambulance service. Alongside the 111 Communication Centre and Patient Transfer Service, the team are often offering help and support in other ways too. “Even if it is just something simple like a warm blanket or directions to a safe place, it’s about caring and recognising when someone needs help” says Nick.

Unfortunately the wintery weather has also started the beginning of flu season. “To help prevent the dreaded ‘man flu’ I stopped by Hutt Hospital a few months ago and got a very quick and relatively painless flu shot from the friendly staff there. I am pleased to report that despite being exposed to a number of poorly patients I have so far avoided getting sick” says Nick.

The flu shot is a great way to protect yourself against the nasty flu bug. The majority of Wellington Free staff get the shot to protect themselves it’s also about protecting you. “We see a number of vulnerable patients on a daily basis like babies, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, so keeping ourselves and our equipment disease free is very important” explains Nick.

Over the next few months Nick will continue to be busy on the road, refining his practice and staying warm and dry. He’s also been lucky enough to be sponsored on a six month cardiology course that begins in August. 

“While it was nice to have a break after finishing my degree, I’m looking forward to getting back into studying” 

Between study and the busy period over winter, Nick will be pretty non-stop for the next wee while.


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