Andy Thompson’s true-to-life, graphic and gripping account of his work as an NHS paramedic in Britain’s A&E emergency Ambulance Service will shock you, sadden you, entertain you, and perhaps inspire you. You’ll smile at some of Andy’s real patient encounters, while others will cause you to wipe a tear. Using official NHS documentation recorded at the time to give precise details of each incident, Andy has held firm to the real-life accounts, even in keeping the dialogue as close as his memory allows to what was really said at the time. It’s as if you’re there next to him, struggling with the effects of adrenaline and fighting to save life. This is a rare work of medical non-fiction delivered in a way that is factual, informative, but at the same time naturally entertaining and moving, written with candour and humour. And if you have ever thought what it takes to become a paramedic - or any other of the specialist vocations - and that you could never achieve it yourself, Andy’s inspiring story of how he went from postman to frontline healthcare professional, fulfilling his dream, will make you think again that anything is possible if you have the desire. Andy says there are no heroics in the book and that he simply did his job, but we are sure The Dark Side will leave you convinced there are true heroes on our streets right here, right now. Saving lives every day, every night and often against all the odds. It might even change your whole perspective on life.
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In June 2002, Andy commenced employment with the Mersey Regional Ambulance Service, which later merged with the Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Lancashire Ambulance Services to form the Northwest Ambulance Service NHS Trust. He rapidly progressed from the Patient Transport Service (PTS) to qualified Paramedic status via Ambulance Technician training, experience gained in the job and further extended training from which, upon qualifying, he was presented with a ‘Professional Paramedic Development Award’ for most improved candidate.
In 2005 he registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC), the national governing body for UK paramedics; this changed its name to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in August 2012.
Andy spent the earlier part of his career working in the English counties of Cheshire and Merseyside. In 2007, after living ‘up north’ for 32 years, Andy relocated down south with his wife and two children, residing there until he and his family relocated to North Yorkshire in September 2013. There, Andy continues his career as an NHS Paramedic with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.