Welcome to The Dark Side!
This is the official web site of Andy Thompson, author and former UK Paramedic.
Born in Chester, England, in September 1975 and raised in Runcorn, Andy developed a passion for physical fitness training while at secondary school, later taking up boxing and karate and going on to win the Shukokai Cheshire Karate Championships. This passion led him to take up a career in the leisure and fitness industry which spanned nearly a decade. It was in 2000, by which time Andy was sharing the roles of postman and personal fitness trainer, that his ambition to become a qualified paramedic became a challenge he had to take on. A lengthy and testing time of self-funded college courses, exams, advanced driver training and the passing of category C1 and D1 public service vehicle certification led Andy to the opportunity of applying for a position with the Mersey Regional Ambulance Service. Even then, only after a lengthy and demanding selection process was his application successful and he joined the service within their Patient Transport Service in June 2002.
Joining the Ambulance Service, albeit in the non-emergency PTS branch, was his first big step, but Andy's dedication and motivation to acheiving his career goal saw him reach qualified Paramedic status within three years. In 2005 he registered with what is now the Health and Care Professions Council, the national governing body for UK paramedics. Following his time in Cheshire and Merseyside, he took up a position in the far south of England in 2007, before once again relocating to the North with his wife and two children in 2013. He continued to work as an NHS Paramedic with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service until October 2015.
2013 saw the publication of his first book, "The Dark Side – Real Life Accounts of an NHS Paramedic : The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly". The sequel, "The Dark Side, Part 2", subtitled "The Traumatic, the Tragic and the Tearful", was published in June 2014. Both are available in paperback, digital download for Kindle, and as audible books.
In 'The Dark Side' series, Andy gives us an eyebrow-raising taste of the dark sense of humour paramedics use as a coping mechanism. In 'The Lighter Side - An NHS Paramedic's Selection of Humorous Mess Room Tales' he packs laugh-out-loud moments into every page as he recalls health care professionals' encounters with the weirdest of behaviour, hilarious misunderstandings, and some cringingly embarrasing episodes.
Above is an inspiring video for wannabe paramedics. It shows just 1 day of 3 years training to become a paramedic, and was filmed while Andy was on the very same course some 15 years ago, which took place at the Hyperbaric Training Centre on the Wirral as part of the trauma training he received, working alongside ex-fire personnel and others.