What does it take to be a rescue worker?

Oliver Fricke: You have to be a quick learner, plus you need strong interpersonal skills and empathy when it comes to dealing with patients, team members and other people. You also have to be able to cope with high-pressure situations that require you to make a lot of split-second decisions.

So, is it more than just a job? Is it a true calling?

Oliver Fricke: For me it's an integral part of my life and definitely much more than just a job. I have been doing this work for over 20 years, and it's now an important part of who I am.

Why a rescue worker? Why did you join St John Ambulance?

Oliver Fricke: It all started way back in my youth. Initially, I wanted to be a professional firefighter, but then I decided to stay with St John and eventually made a career of it. I particularly enjoy being confronted with new challenges every day. It's a hugely rewarding and varied field of work.

Do rescue workers have special responsibilities as role models? Do you see yourself as a role model?

Oliver Fricke: It's only really possible to be a role model when you've attained a position of responsibility.Then I do think it's possible to serve as a role model for your colleagues and staff, but only if you put your heart and soul into the job.

Does your commitment to rescuing others stop when you're off duty and out of uniform?

Oliver Fricke: No, never. The routine and discipline of the job automatically become part of your private life. 24/7, 365 days a year. That's certainly true in my case – no matter where I happen to be or what I happen to be doing.

What advice do you have for people who might be considering a career as a paramedic?

Oliver Fricke: Anyone wanting to join St John Ambulance must be willing to put in a lot of time. It’s not a job that can be done half-hearted, it requires total commitment. So a strong personal interest and unflinching dedication are absolutely critical.