26 May 2021
Although John has retired he will still be working for the faculty in his role as assesor and p/t OSM trainer. I chatted to John about his life.
I believe you grew up in Durham…tell me a bit about that.
Born in 1955; 1.5lbs 3 months early! At 18 I got a job in a large Colliery situated in Seaham Harbour. I worked in an exploration team driving tunnels one thousand feet below the seabed and 5 miles out to sea (looking for new virgin coal stock).
It was hard work and dangerous but I enjoyed every minute of my two years there.
You joined the Navy. When was that and what was your role?
I joined the Royal Navy in 1976 and trained to be a medical assistant to work on war ships, hospitals and to support the royal marines. I moved through the ranks to Petty Officer and mostly worked in Stonehouse Hospital A & E and three months of the year with the Royal Marines training in Arctic Warfare (Norway).
I retired from the Royal Navy when all the Naval Hospitals in the UK were closed in 1995.
Following this I believe you became a medic offshore.
Following the Navy I worked in Phase 1 Clinical Trials (until 2002) as a study manager and frequently visited DDRC as we were linked through Phil Bryson and Maurice Cross. My wife and I then decided to try life in Spain for a while, moving back to the UK in 2006. On returning I worked as an Offshore Medic and Safety officer, moving onto Vessels, working on the Discovery (Dive Support Vessel) in Egypt, Canada, and the North sea.
What attracted to you to DDRC?
I had been over to the unit during the1980’s for wound care training when I worked as a vascular nurse in Derriford, then again I popped in and out in the late 90’s whilst working at Phase 1, so I was aware of DDRC for a long time.
I started with DDRC in a deputy manager role. The attraction was working with diverse like- minded people and to be able to keep in contact with old offshore colleagues. There was a lot to do to get the Offshore Medic and MCA courses up and running. In those days I did most days in the classroom and it was full on. Within a year I was promoted to Manager of Professional Services.
Have you enjoyed your time at DDRC?
I have loved my time at DDRC, no complaints at all.
What are your plans for your new life in retirement?
More time with my wife Jan and my dogs, getting the home upgraded and more travel in the future and I still plan to write my story – ‘A Medic’s Life!’