Meet our paramedics: Hannah Simkins

We caught up with paramedic Hannah Simkins to see what it was like to be part of Inside the Ambulance.

What's your name and your job?

My name is Hannah Simkins and I'm a paramedic for the West Midlands Ambulance Service.

What's a typical work shift like?

We always work 12 hours, a mixture of days and nights. I don't think there's any typical shift to be honest, you never know what you're going to go to, you never know where you're going to be, which is one of the things that keeps it interesting and keeps you developing new skills as well because you're always in different situations.

What's the best thing about your job?

The best thing about the job is the people that we get to make. We get to meet lots of different people and you quite often see people who are in really hard situations that still think about others and sort of restore your faith in humanity sometimes, because we want to get to see the not very nice side of things. But I always think that if you meet one genuinely nice person it outweighs all the other not-so-nice people that we meet.

What are the biggest challenges of your job?

The worst thing about my job is probably the long hours and how hard work is and I think unless people work shifts themselves - I've got friends that works of six hours in our office and go 'I had a really stressful day at work today and it was really tiring' and things like that and I think 'Well I've just worked double, probably more so, than what you have and you know you've been dealing with lots of different things. It is tiring and it is hard work, but it's worth it if what we get to do.

I think that's quite a lot of pressure on us, because when you go to jobs where you've got a seriously ill patient there's just you and your crew mate in a very confined space with not a lot of equipment and not a lot of drugs to be able to do things and sometimes that's quite a challenge and quite stressful.

How does your job affect you?

I think the job's probably made me a bit more cynical. I think I lived in a bit of a bubble before I did this, so it's opened my eyes up to lots of different things. But it's also maybe a lot more confident and given me a lot more confidence in myself and things that I can do.

What have you learnt about the Great British public through your job?

We do get to see people in all walks of life and all different situations and get to hear some really amazing life stories from people and meet some people that have been to some pretty amazing places.

What do you want people to learn from Inside The Ambulance?

There's the misconceptions that people think that we're just ambulance drivers, which is how we get referred to a lot of the time not just by members of the public, but by other people which kind of degrades I think what we do. And there's the age old saying that people say 'You shouldn't look down on a paramedic because one day you could be looking up at them' which is the thing that I think I've definitely found from people doing the job.

What previous incident do you wish had been caught on camera?

There've been a few previous incidents that I wish could be filmed because I always say there's a lot of people that write books and things about their time in the ambulance service and if I tell people stories about places I've been and things I've done they don't actually believe me.

So a few of the very surreal situations: we went to a flat with a lady that was that was deaf that couldn't hear at all and there was a woman sat in a chair with her back to us and I genuinely thought when we went into that this woman was dead in the chair because they didn't tell us anything other than some sort of social issue. Went in, woke this woman up, who was also deaf, who you had no idea what was going on and after about 20 minutes of writing things down it transpired that this woman was asleep in somebody else's flat and she just wanted her to go home. So we woke her up and said 'You're gonna go home' and she said yes and we walked back up to a flat and saw her inside and made sure they're both OK and came out again and it was one of the surrealist situations to be in really.