1. Ambulance Officer is much more than a driver. They are sent to assist patients who require medical assistance and to accident victims. They are trained to stabilize the patients and victims and carry them to hospital.
  2. One must pursue B.Sc. to be eligible for the entrance exams.
    Post-qualifying the entrance exam, you must clear the interview. You are then given on-job training.
  3. The work is far less, and work environment is largely great. The ambulance is completely air-conditioned. There is hardly any work; we attend an average of 2 patients in a day. Therefore, we stay relaxed and tension free.
  4. The job provides all the perks of the government service like pension, medical insurance, free residence etc.
  5. However, this job is very important as the life of a person depends on your reflexes. Even the slightest mistake can cost the patient’s life.

Personal Details

Name – Rakesh Singh

Profession – Assistant Ambulance Officer (AAO) at ILBS Hospital

Age – 55 years

Gender – Male

Industry – Healthcare

City – Delhi

Where have you been born and raised?

I’ve spent my early years in Dadri. I work in New Delhi. My father was a Major in the army while my mother was a homemaker. I have 2 brothers and 3 sisters. Ours was an upper-middle-class family.

Who had the most influence on you and how?

My father had the most influence on me as it was him who always guided and motivated me to achieve great things in life. He taught me the importance of being educated and thus I credit him for my success.

Please give a summary of your career.

I started as a Biology teacher in Centre School, Sadarpur where I taught for a year.
Then, I taught at Meer Bhoj for 4 years. Following this, I applied for the job I’m currently involved in and started working in New Delhi.
I started as an Assistant Junior Ambulance Officer, then was promoted to the post of the Medical officer, then became the Checking Officer and finally earned the post of AAO. I’ve been in this field for 25 years.

Which institutes are best for the training/education of ambulance officer?

I did my training from the Lok Nayak Jay Prakash Hospital in Delhi. Thus, I recommend it.

However, AIIMS’s Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre is the best.

What are the costs associated with the training/education of becoming an ambulance officer?

There is no cost for this training. It’s funded by the Government of India.

What are the typical entry-level jobs in this profession?

One must pursue B.Sc. to be eligible for the entrance exam. There is an entrance exam, followed by an interview. After you are selected, you are given in-service training.

The trainees selected for the training are required to possess a valid commercial driving license. The training curriculum is called the “Basic Course for Ambulance Personnel” (BCAP).

Resource personnel from various disciplines are invited to deliver lectures in their specialty. Training essentially consists of three broad categories viz. Wireless communication, Driving, and Specialised First-aid emergency management.

What is the range of remuneration one can expect as ambulance officer?

Starting out — 5 lakhs INR per annum

5 years’ experience — 7 lakhs INR per annum

10 years’ experience — 8 lakhs INR per annum

15 years’ experience — 10 lakhs INR per annum

20+ years’ experience — 15 lakhs INR per annum

Please describe your work as an ambulance officer.

Ambulance workers are dispatched to people who require medical assistance, such as those involved in car accidents or who are having medical emergencies. Once on site, we help stabilize patients and prepare them for transport to a hospital. We often work alongside other emergency services providers, such as fire-fighters, doctors, nurses and law enforcement officers.

As an Assistant Junior Ambulance officer, my work was to provide first-aid to emergency patients before they reach the hospital.
Later as a medical officer, my work included conducting medical tests on police and government personnel and certifying them with medical certificates.
As a checking officer, my work was taking attendance of ambulance staff, ensuring proper care of emergency hospital vehicles and supervision of the work ensuring that everything is properly done.

I work for 7 hrs for 5 days a week.

What are some of the positives which would encourage someone to consider this career/job?

  1. The salary is more than enough, especially when you consider the amount of work. We rarely attend more than 2 patients in a day. Until we get an emergency call, we are free and can sit idly.
  2. The ambulance is completely air-conditioned. There is no work pressure until there is a huge accident. We stay relaxed and tension free throughout the day at work.
  3. We also get extra pay due to the peculiar nature of the work. The work-life balance is quite good.
  4. There is also great job security and frequent promotions. You’re sure to get 3 promotions before you retire in the job.
  5. The job includes all the perks of being in government’s service like pension, medical insurance, free residence etc.

What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering this career/job?

  1. The foremost challenge is the risk of catching some communicable infection from the patients we have to deal with. We sometimes have to be in skin-to-skin or blood-to-blood contact with the patient. That leaves us vulnerable to catch the infections the patient may be suffering from.
  2. When there is an accident, the ambulance literally rushes on the road. We ourselves are vulnerable to fall into the trap of a road accident due to the rush. Thus, it is not a safe job.
  3. When there is a huge accident where many people are injured or have died, the work pressure is too much. We may not save everybody’s lives due to which we feel bad for days.
  4. The life of a person depends on our reflexes and even the slightest mistakes may cost the patient’s life.

What are the relevant skills/technologies/trends that are commanding a premium in your job profile?

The person requires problem-solving and communication skills. Quick reflexes and attention to detail are a must. Proficiency with specialized tools and technologies needed in providing first aid to a critical patient is also required.

What kind of a person would be happy in your career?

A person who is not uncomfortable to handle cringy situations where the patient is burnt or bleeding and is comfortable with it would face no problem in the job. There are many people who faint just by seeing someone bleeding, forget about dealing with the wound of a patient who has lost his hand a few seconds ago in a ghastly accident. A person ready to deal with such situations is perfect for the job.

Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?

I’ve come to the way of being an AAO from the job of a teacher which is believed to be the best profession for having a good work-life balance. But there also, I’d to put in a lot.

Here, the work is far less than what I had to do as a teacher and salary is far better. For me, it’s a great profession and there is no way I’ll be pursuing another job now.

What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path like yours?

Go for it. It’s a great job. But ensure that you have proper practice and training in dealing with these situations. You must be utterly cringe-proof to be good at this.

You may also like to check out our conversation with Dr. Aditya Dixit (Paediatrician).