VIDEO Black History Month – Ivan’s Story

To celebrate Black History Month, South West Essex based A-EMT Ivan Perkin’s shares his story about why he joined EEAST.


Transcript of video

My name is Ivan Perkin’s, I am an A-EMT with the East of England Ambulance Service. I am actually from a British Caribbean Island. I have been doing work for the Ambulance Service for eight years, and four years with the Trust. I love doing this job because I like taking care of others who are less fortunate, health wise and mental wise, than I am. Where I’m from, you are taught to take care of each other, so I’ve always wanted to be part of the Ambulance Service.

We need a bit more diversity within the Trust because as an Ambulance Service we provide a service to a multi-cultural community, that is widely changing as we go along. I work in Essex, stationed in Basildon, and when I moved there a couple of years ago, there was not much diversity here, but over a couple of years this has changed vastly.

We attend not only 999 calls and medical emergencies, but we also attend social problems, crisis’s and different things that need a bit of common sense and intuition and proper people skills. These are some of the reasons that we need a diverse service, so that we can effectively deal with each situation as it details. We should have a diverse Ambulance Service, it will broaden the versatility to cope with different situations, different jobs that we go out to.

For instance, I’ve been out to a gentleman, he is from the Caribbean, I think he was from Jamaica, and he was trying to explain stuff, but he was still speaking in his Jamaican dialect which a lot of people didn’t understand. Although I am not from Jamaica, because I am from the Caribbean, I understand the culture a lot better, and I was there to make him feel at ease. He was getting a bit stressed as people weren’t understanding what he was saying when he was glad to see me. I remember he said to me, ‘How comes there’s not more of you in the Ambulance Service?’ so I said ‘Slowly we’re getting there! Slowly we’re getting there, we’re getting diverse’. And by diverse, I mean, black and ethnic minority people, Asians, women and what have you.

If we get the diversity right, we could be a more successful service for the community that we will be dealing with, and it will be a bit more balanced as we go about it, and it will be a bit more of a success.

Thank you.

Published 22nd October 2020


1 Comment
Having read the article from Ivan I am partially in agreement. I believe there should be more diversity, but I don't believe the east of England ambulance trust discourages BAME from joining.
Born in the UK and served in HM forces, 20 years ago the armed forces were asking the same question, I was asked to attend recruitment days to encourage more ethnic minorities.
I feel the issue is based on the description, we are in the East of England a 'minority'. So it will always be a tough ask to attract/ recruit from this group.
The only viable action is to not only find ways to attract minorities, but to push minorities into training/ management roles, so that minorities look at the service and see themselves in that position.

Michael lewis
23 October 2020

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