Military to Custody: are they worlds apart?

When you think of nurses or paramedics, people immediately think of working for the NHS in public hospitals and very rarely think of working in custody or for the military.

Some people fall into a career in custody just like CRG Medical Services Custody Healthcare Professional (HCP), Garfield who swapped the military for the custody setting.

As part of our celebrations to mark Armed Forces Day we take a look back at Garfield’s military career and how his military experience has prepared him for his role as a custody HCP.

Military experience

With fourteen years’ experience serving in the military, Garfield has travelled the globe completing assignments in South Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Iraq.

During this time, Garfield served as a Royal Marine, Physical Training Instructor, a Recruit Training Instructor and lastly, a Close Protection Medic where he worked alone in clinical settings – something which has prepared him for his current role in custody.

He said: “Working in the Armed Forces has certainly helped me prepare for working in a custody setting, especially lone working.

“I have dealt with a lot of emergency situations and when you’re working in custody you never know what clients you are going to have to tend to – it keeps you on your toes.”

The World of Custody

In 2010, Garfield left the military and worked as a clinical lead on the rapid response vehicle for different Ambulance Trusts across the UK but it wasn’t until 2017 when he fell into the world of custody.

Like the military, custody is also a very challenging environment and no two days are the same. You have to deal with emergency situations which are sometimes volatile and unpredictable.

“Sometimes we deal with clients who have drug and alcohol addictions and in some circumstances their behaviour can be aggressive and erratic.

“I think with by background of working in such a disciplined environment it has helped me to communicate well and can take control of an emergency situation,” Garfield added.

In his role as a Forensic Custody Paramedic, Garfield’s responsibilities include:

  • Gathering police forensics for prosecution
  • Treating minor illnesses
  • Administer medication
  • Make safeguarding and mental health referrals
  • Decide on whether a detainee is medically fit to detain, fit to interview, fit for court, fit from custody

“Working in custody is challenging but also very rewarding – you can really help change people’s lives. We can treat people and signpost them to other services to help with their addictions.

“Although working in a military environment is different to working in a custody suite, there are similarities to the roles which has helped me develop my career. If you’re a paramedic or nurse looking for a change and to work in a unique environment, I would definitely recommend considering becoming a Custody HCP.”

Working for CRG Medical Services

CRG Medical Services has contracts across the UK and provides care in custody suites in Lancashire, Merseyside, Dorset, Dyfed Powys, Essex and our latest contract win Lincolnshire.

If you’re looking for a change and are interested in starting a career in the custody setting view our full time, part time and bank positions here or to find out more about CRG Medical Services read more here.

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