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Class of 2012 – Isaac Guppy

Class of 2012 Alumnus, Isaac Guppy, started at St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School in Year 7 and remembers being actively involved in the school’s productions and bands. Some of his greatest achievements at school were being the lead in the 2012 production of “Little Shop of Horrors” and being awarded the St Paul’s Shield in 2012 for outstanding contribution in academics, performing arts and sport. He was also a school Prefect.

After finishing secondary school, Isaac studied a Bachelor of Emergency Health (Paramedics).  He moved to London after completing his bachelor degree to work for the London Ambulance Service. In 2019 he joined the London Ambulance Services Hazardous Area Response Team (HART).

When we asked Isaac what he enjoyed most about being a paramedic, he said “I’ve always been a jack of all trades but a master of none with most of my hobbies.  Being a paramedic allows me to go to a large range of medical conditions and traumatic cases and do my best to help.  Although there’s routine, no two days are ever the same. Each call out is a different patient, in a new location”.

As a part of the Hazardous Area Response Team, Isaac does a lot of additional training that he enjoys, that include working at heights, urban search and rescue, and water rescue.

“It’s also a gratifying feeling knowing that you’re helping others.  A London Ambulance Service informs paramedics if any of their patients who were in cardiac arrest survive and leave the hospital.  Although it is rare, it is a fantastic feeling to receive one of those letters.”

When we asked Isaac what he found most challenging about what he is doing now, he said “The most challenging part of what I do is dealing with time wasters and people who don’t need an ambulance.  It is frustrating to be stuck on a job with an individual who does not need an ambulance, knowing that there may be someone in need of medical attention.  Some examples of ridiculous calls are ‘hiccups’, ‘someone who can’t sleep’ and ‘cotton bud stuck in their ear’.”  As part of the Hazardous Area Response Team, Isaac has also worked on the front line in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Isaac began considering his future pathway options in Year 11.  “In Year 11 when I was trying to consider what I wanted to pursue as a career, I had some selection criteria to sort out a pathway that would work for me. I had enjoyed Biology and PE and learning about how the body works but was aware that although I had put a lot of effort into my VCE, I was unlikely to achieve the marks needed to study medicine.  This kind of left me with the options of physiotherapy, nursing and paramedics.  Paramedics seemed to interest me the most because I liked the thought of being able to be outside for most of the day and dealing with acutely unwell patients.”

Isaac is appreciative of how his parents have always been supportive and allowed him to pursue any career or interest “as long as I am committed and put the effort in”.

During his time at St Paul’s, Isaac was involved in as many co-curricular activities as he could fit in. This included the Big Band, Assembly Band, school choirs, school productions, swimming team, football and he was also the Dance Captain.  “Although St Paul’s gave me an excellent education it was the skills learnt from the additional activities that gave me a foundation and a demeanour suited for a paramedic.  At work I sometimes get called to stressful situations.  My heart can race and on the inside I can feel a bit nervous. Overcoming these nerves for me is not too dissimilar from when I was performing in the school productions.  It’s about remaining calm and remembering your lines and cues.  These skills are just as transferable from the West Gippsland Arts Centre to the side of a road after someone has been hit by a car.”

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