Publish date: 24 June 2022

Armed Forces Day - Carl Keeble.png

To mark Armed Forces Day we thought we’d speak to some of our colleagues here at DHU who have served the country themselves.

Carl Keeble is a Clinical Practitioner Paramedic with us based in Leicestershire and served with the Royal Naval Medical Services for twelve years. He since moved on to the NHS Ambulance Service as a Paramedic before joining us at DHU Health Care two years ago.

It was quite an experience for Carl who specialised in Emergency Care and Search and Rescue, he said: “Like most of the Naval Servicemen I joined at Plymouth and my time with the Royal Navy has taken me all over the world. I’ve been based in the UK, had plenty of time at sea, Indonesia, Northern Ireland, New York and was involved in the Falklands which was particularly traumatic.

“I’ve always had an interest in the Navy…”

“My background is actually in nursing, I went to medical school completing dual training in nursing and paramedics, specialising in injury care and emergencies. My Dad was in the military but other than that there was no family connection, but I’ve always had an interest in the Navy and travelling. The more I looked into it, the more I realised that my medical training could be developed through a career in this field and the Navy offered me the best pathway to progress.

“For example, by its very nature we spent a lot of time at sea. I might be the only person with medical experience on the ship which required me to have very specific primary care training to be able to look after a ship full of men and women. Depending on our manoeuvres, we could be at sea for up to five or six days without a doctor, so I needed to know my stuff and was trained accordingly. My knowledge and skill levels were very broad as a result.

“I met some incredible people and forged some long-lasting friendships but yes, some of the things I saw and experienced will never leave me. I did suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a consequence of my time in the Falklands, it’s something I’m very open about. This year is the 40th anniversary of the war so it has brought a lot of that back. There are many things that trigger memories, mostly smells oddly enough, so remembrance events and anniversaries can be difficult times.

“An experience I’ll never forget…”

“I attended the recent national ceremonies, including the National Service for the 1982 Liberation of the Falklands. I got to meet old comrades, even former patients that I’d treated there which was a real honour for me. It’s an experience I’ll never forget and for all of us who served there, it has and will continue to have a big effect.

“Of course all of this paved the way for my latter career in the Ambulance Service, for whom I was awarded the Queen’s Ambulance Medal in 2016 at Buckingham Palace, and then here at DHU. My service has stood me in good stead, for example at Loughborough Urgent Treatment Centre, we see a lot of unwell people, many of whom need primary care treatment. That’s what I know from my time in the Navy, a skill further developed with the Ambulance Service to deliver on the spot, emergency care. That teamwork, contributing to everything the team is doing whilst trusting everyone else to contribute to what you’re doing is key to providing urgent and emergency care, whether in conflict or in healthcare.

“My respect for those who have and continue to serve in the Armed Forces is absolute. Their contribution to the safety of all of us and our way of life isn’t necessarily noticed until conflict or emergencies arise, as we saw in the way they came to the aid of the NHS during the height of the Covid pandemic. They protect us, serve us and we need to always acknowledge that.”

You can also read about Connor Crabb, DHU111 Training and Development Manager, who served in the Royal Army Medical here to read more

You might also be interested in...