Steve wants to climb the Seven Summits and reach the South Pole. He is currently working as a Community Responder, a Wilderness Medic, and a Travel Adviser. He is a big Esc supporter despite ticking us off for not paying due respect and attention to 'older' people's dreams of escaping!
Since last November when my latest ‘crap job’ came to a very sudden end, I've been trying to make ends meet as a Wilderness Medic and Travel/Health Adviser for people going on expeditions, gap years, and trips to places like the North Pole or Everest (lucky buggers).
When I'm not being 'wild' I'm a Community Responder in South Reading - also the area around the nightmare that is Junction 11 of the M4 motorway, hence... http://www.j11responders.co.uk/" rel="nofollow">www.j11responders.co.uk. I'm studying advanced wilderness medicine and advanced 'pre-hospital emergency care' as my aim is to teach First Aid when I'm not sat in a base camp looking after other people on their expeditions.
I also want to visit schools and colleges to show kids the importance of knowing 'basic' first aid. I'll be teaching the following to adults: Basic First Aid, First Aid at Work (inc. re-qualification), Paediatric First Aid, Med Gases, AED, and Wilderness First Aid.
At the moment, I'm spending far too much time sitting in front of a computer, and not enough time in the field actually 'doing' the things I want to do. Plus there's the studying, more studying and then some studying. Lots of emailing and a bit more studying.
Also trying to find a job to fill the gap between my funds running dry and making a living doing the above.
I spent 10 years as a Royal Engineer for HM The Queen (not personally you understand) surveying battlefields, printing maps and making sure that NATO forces didn't get too lost. Adventure training, mountaineering, white water rafting - all at the expense of HM Forces.
Then came civi-street in ‘94, one crap job after another, until I picked up a book on Everest, and saw Chris Bonington on the first page I opened. This reminded me of when I was a kid and my dad got Chris' book 'http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/8173030731?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwescthecity-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=8173030731" rel="nofollow">Everest the Hard Way' and after I'd read it, I told him that one day I was going to climb mountains. Dad told me I was bonkers and that was that.
It was that moment in the book shop, when I turned that first page and the memories of dad's book came rushing back, that I decided that maybe the time had come to do what I want to do, not what the world thinks I should do. Maybe!
I didn't really plan this; it seemed to 'evolve' but I guess it started while I was working for one of the afore mentioned 'crap employers', sat in my van doing paperwork after a particularly dirty job. I was surveying drains for a new building site, so I had a box of gloves on the dashboard.
I noticed a bloke fall off his bicycle, nothing spectacular - quite funny actually. Until I noticed him bleeding, lots, dangerously 'lots'. Everyone around him, and there were quite a few, disappeared, stood looking shocked, or turned their backs on him. I grabbed a pair of the dashboard gloves and basically saved the guy's life.
Suffice to say that from that moment on, I decided that more people need basic first aid skills, because if I wasn't there that day, a woman would be a widow and two young girls would be growing up without a dad. This should never happen because nobody knows how to help.
I'm using my mountaineering to try and raise awareness and funds for this by climbing the 7 summits. If I can earn a crust at the same time by looking after other people's medical needs, other people doing the same mad things as me, then I think I'll have my perfect job. I am trying to fund this by offering my first aid services to anyone who needs them, advising people on health and travel issues: “do I need yellow fever jabs in country X?” or “can I get a sterile first aid kit because I'm going to Unsterileville in Dirtyland?” Sometimes I get questions like “what the F$@# is Lymes disease and should I worry about it in the Yorkshire Dales?”
If you're after medical advice, a first aider for an event, or a wilderness medic to come with you while you film a new species of ant in the middle of nowhere, then I'm your man.
Worst: Easy... finding customers/sponsors (so if you know anyone...)
Best: Making it happen. I get a great feeling of satisfaction having sumitted a mountain (however small) with a group of 'paying' guys (and girls) and got them all back home with nothing broken, no nasty illnesses etc.
Even sitting at base camp, knowing that if someone else does have an accident, I'm there to help.
I told a mate that I'd go to the ends of the earth if I thought just one person would learn first aid because of me and then one day that person saved someone's life. His advice... “Go on then, just do it!”
Warren MacDonald said “we all have the ability to pull off some pretty incredible things, the difference is, some people are afraid of taking that first step”.
So go ahead and take it. Ask for advice from people who have done it already, read books, go on the net, but do it!
I spend far too long checking out other people on the internet, How did 'X' do this? What drove 'Y' to start that? It's actually amazing how much you can find out by looking at Twitter and Facebook, then when you see someone say something interesting, go check out their websites, blogs, etc.
I've been bugging my local council, and job advice people.
BUT... I have to say, most of the support I've seen has been aimed at people under 30. Why is this, don't us old'uns ever want to change their lives around? This one does, and no bugger is going to stop me. Never too old to teach this dog new tricks.