Publish date: 24 June 2022

Armed Forces Day - Connor Crabb.png

It’s always interesting to find out more about the people we work with which is why, to mark Armed Forces Day, we spoke to one of our DHU111 team, Connor Crabb.

Connor has been with DHU Healthcare since November 2014 but before that he spent six years with the Royal Army Medical Corps, primarily as a Combat Medical Technician. We wanted to find out how his experiences serving his country have transferred to looking after our colleagues and here’s what he told us…

“I joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and gained my competencies based at 253 (Northern Irish) Medical regiment in Preston and 5th Medical Regiment in North Yorkshire. I completed my class one combat medical technician training and promoted up to the rank of Lance Corporal before joining the Queen’s Royal Lancers also based in North Yorkshire. I’ve been posted to Belgium, Germany, Canada, Norway and Kenya but it was Afghanistan, towards the end of my Army career, that had the biggest effect on me.

“Not likely to forget…”

“I was deployed there on 25th October 2012, a day I’m not likely to forget, and I was attached to C Squadron with the Queens Royal Lancers. I was assigned as a Combat Medical Technician to PMAG, the Police Mentoring and Advisory Group working in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province. The Afghan Police weren’t necessarily well drilled at the time so our job was to teach them basic policing, how to patrol and handle themselves in a battle. Outside of that we would provide a general light infantry role, patrolling our area of operations to deter and fight the Taliban.

“Due to my medical training, I treated quite a number of combat casualties, giving primary and emergency care as and when needed. It could happen very quickly and you never knew what to expect, so I learned to react quickly with calmness and focus which wasn’t always easy until my tour ended and I returned home sometime in April 2013.

“A different career path…”

“The cycle of preparation tended to involve six months of low level training and relaxation followed by a year and half, give or take, of preparing for your next tour of duty. As my time in Afghanistan came towards the end of operations it was shorter, but I had developed quite a level of responsibility and autonomy that I couldn’t recreate when I returned. That, combined with growing tired of always being away and wanting some stability, led to my decision to go down a different career path.

“I left in October 2014 and a year later joined DHU.

“I’m a Training and Development Manager now so you can probably see where I’ve carried the skills I developed with the Army into DHU. I developed a lot of personal discipline that I believe is key to any role and leadership skills tend to come more naturally as you go through life. I’ve already mentioned that part of my role in Afghanistan involved training so bringing that to my 111 role has been invaluable, as has my assertiveness and being able to react quickly and calmly under pressure. It’s a quality that serves me well and if I can teach that to those who join us at DHU then I’m very happy.

“Shared Experiences”

“There’s a level of comradery in the Army and I still keep in touch with some of those I served with. It's one of those where I might not speak to someone for two or three years but when we meet, we pick up where we left off, there are lots of shared experiences.

“For me, I’m very proud to say that I served in the Royal Army Medical Corps. I’ve been able to take the disciplines and mindset with me into this role, but I can see the Armed Forces continue to make a massive contribution to this country and our people. They sacrifice a lot, away from their families and friends in hostile environments, providing humanitarian aid as well as military support and some don’t come back. It’s a difficult job and I have the ultimate respect for what they do, it’s nice to be able to make that acknowledgment.”

You cvan also read about Carl Keeble, Clinical Practioner Paramedic, who served with the Royal here to read his story

You might also be interested in...