Find out more about joining ranks of ambulance charity volunteers at open event

PUBLISHED: 07:56 11 September 2018 | UPDATED: 07:56 11 September 2018

Chris Green

Chris Green


Why would someone want to halve their salary – or even reduce it to a quarter?

St John Ambulance adult volunteers.St John Ambulance adult volunteers.

Chris Green, 29, a former pensions advisor, is just one example of people who have given up highly paid jobs to re-train as a paramedic having first been bitten by the “med-bug” after joining St John Ambulance.

Chris has three paramedic colleagues who have changed careers to become ambulance workers and dropped salaries.

Chris has halved his pay after leaving the finance industry to train as a paramedic and another person in his team who changed careers was once earning four times as much. There are also qualified paramedics, doctors and nurses who volunteer with St John.

Chris said: “This summer, I went on holiday to Ireland and I was really enjoying myself but I still thought, ‘I wish I could get up and go to work in the morning’. There is nothing like working in an ambulance.”

Perhaps this should be a health warning. St John is calling for more volunteers to work in Saffron Walden – and Dunmow if they can get enough of them – but be advised, you might like it so much, you step down from that high-flying career.

There are perks. Saffron Walden St John goes to matches at Arsenal Football Club and, after the first five minutes of each half, you get to watch the game. They also go to Lords for the cricket, see rugby at Twickenham and attend Newmarket Races and Duxford Airshow.

This is as well as village fetes and open days at Carver Barracks and various fire stations.

Chris, from Great Sampford, started volunteering for St John six years ago.

He said: “I had been in a few situations where first aid was needed and I didn’t know what to do.

“A neighbour fell over and was bleeding from a head wound. Fortunately, the ambulance arrived promptly but I would have liked to know how to help and to do more than just panic.”

Chris, who is also a retained firefighter at Thaxted Fire Station, says of his paramedic work: “I love it. The pay’s not terrible and I take a few overtime shifts once a month.”

There will be a St John open evening on September 18 from 8pm at the Adult Learning Centre behind Fairycroft House, in Audley Road, Saffron Walden. To find out about volunteering for St John Ambulance, apply at

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