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Army Skills

David Thorpe

He uses the skills he learnt to keep moving forward

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At the age of 61, David Thorpe is the oldest HART Paramedic in the country. This year is his 20th year in the South West Ambulance service and his 10th in the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART). He believes that his success in civilian life and particularly in the ambulance service would not have been possible without the skills he learnt in his years in the Army and the Army Reserve.

David always knew that he was going to join the Army. At the age of 9, living in Cyprus with his father an Army sergeant, as the Squadron mascot he was presented with a United Nations medal ribbon and beret by the inspecting Brigadier. He always looked up to his father as a role model and at the age of 16, he joined the Royal Corps of Transport. During his career he served in Germany, Canada, The Falkland Islands, Cyprus and the UK and deployed on Operations in Northern Ireland and Iraq and reached the rank of Corporal when he decided to leave in 1992.

After a few short-term jobs, while he found his feet in civilian life, David found himself training as an adult student nurse and put those skills to good use when he later became an Ambulance Technician. After 6 years he completed his Paramedic training and at the age of 51 was selected to join the HART where he has remained until this day.

David firmly believes that in addition to the practical skills that Army taught him as a soldier and a Radio Operator it also instilled skills such as self-discipline, confidence, honesty and loyalty and he has used them since he left to keep moving forward.

David is married to Tracey and they are proud parents of their 32-year-old daughter who has followed her father into the medical field and is a Consultant (Emergency Medicine) Paediatrician. He is also a Town Councillor and a Branch Secretary of the Royal British Legion.   

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