Sgt Faye Shotton, a Medical Sergeant with 4th Battalion the Mercian Regiment, talks about how the Army has spurred her on as a paramedic.
I joined the Army at 17 and I wanted to be Combat Medic; I wanted to be the first person to be there to help people. I feel like I've got that kind of nature inside of me, so medic was a natural route.
With the role, you have to have really good communication skills and you have to be approachable. Initial treatment of a casualty is quite nerve-wracking but it becomes second nature to you. You don't even have to think about what you're doing. It's a different life. It's a different world.
I grew up fast with it and I learned a lot of life skills from it and it's just propelled me into what I am now, working with the Hazardous Area Response Team out of the West Midland Ambulance Service. I have the stresses of regular work, then I come away with the reserves and it's like a small family, really.
On Exercise Saxon Shield, I helped with the Military Annual Training Test (MATT 3) and Battlefield Casualty Drills (BCD). MATT 3 is designed for every British soldier to enable them to treat casualties at the first point of injury, where medics might not be available initially, and they can start doing the life-saving treatment.
They'll go through how to apply a tourniquet and bandages, how to correctly put people in the three-quarter prone position, and also how to correctly evacuate and report up the chain of command, so we can get the correct type of care.
I've been to Afghan, Cyprus, Iraq and Uganda where I had my best experience; we trained the Ugandan Defence Force for their future deployments and my role was training the nurses. It was probably the best time…we’d deliver lessons and they were that grateful, they would all get together in a group and sing to us. And it was just the most incredible thing.
I've been with the Army for 14 years, and I've never regretted a second. Anyone ask me what my proudest moment is - joining the Reserves. If you want to join, I’d say go for it.
Sergeant Faye Shotton