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" If you can hang on to humour, then with it comes hope and change."

You may be wondering where I am going with this one?

We are being subjected to a barrage of doom and gloom from nearly every media we turn on to.

We don't live in a perfect world, there's bad stuff happening all around us and will continue I'm sure. What we can't let go of is our sense of humour and hope.

I have witnessed many good and bad things in my life and Service career.

Some memorable and etched deep into my brain and body.

Conjuring up numerous varieties of emotions. Being silent and numb, to having waves of upset and guilt surging up at times completely unexpected. Plus guilt for not saving some people, even though we had done our best.

Reflecting on close shaves and risk-taking events, and realising how lucky you were.

And then flickers of laughter and being around friends, family and colleagues.

Some times laughter and images of smiling faces of my crew and when we've got things wrong and taken a tumble. You could always count on some proper belly laughs and tears and shortness of breath laughing if you'd witnessed an 'on the job blooper!'

Obviously we were professionals at all times, but just some times you couldn't hold it in.

Laughter is so good for your body and boosts your immune system, your energy in you, changes.

Changes for the better and last for hours.

The chemistry has been lifted, you will function better and make more informed decisions.

In this challenging time, we are globally facing, remind yourselves daily that ...........

............'Laughter is also infectious'.

I recall an incident in the winter months, where a horse had thrown its rider and was laying stuck in a ditch, early hours so still cold. We had been mobilised to help get it out, this was before the days of Animal Rescue and specialised equipment. We had been there around 2 hours trying numerous methods of bales under its front and back quarters to give it a stable footing. And avoiding getting kicked. The vet turned to us and said this horse is fading and losing hope!

Animals, as do we when all hope is lost, just give up!

Breaking the rules it may have been, but it was last chance and the vet and owner agreed, so we had a length of hose looped behind its hindquarters and 2 long ropes attached to the head harness. This involved everyone including the vet and owner, with the exception of the driver who had brought the truck up closer. So on my instructions, we all had a plan of hitting the sirens, startle the horse and pull like mad to help it. Yes, sure enough, he moved due to the noise and fortunately with the horse's will to get up, albeit shall we say encouraged, by us all, we saved this horse from what was so close to an end. We had changed the outcome.

It's a nothing incident in comparison to so many others, but it highlights that without hope it just seems futile.

On many other incidents with people trapped in cars, you can see and feel life ebbing away. A calm reassuring manner and voice are sometimes enough, but the power of touch even more so.

Holding their hand or yours placed on their shoulder whilst you explain what will happen to help get them out can give people hope and a boost that they have a chance. Looking into someone eyes and connecting with them on a level that can only be experienced, not written about, is something that hits home and makes me feel proud to have been part of something special in helping others in their time of need.

I placed my hand on a ladies shoulder as she was physically trapped in her vehicle and said I would be back, I just had to survey the scene as it was numerous cars and persons involved. Stupidly and without thought, I said, " stay there, I will be back in a moment", but because we had made that connection and she was restored with hope, she replied calmly and with a smile even though in pain, " I'm not going anywhere" ......bless her. This incredible lady was a successful extrication as were so many more.

So here we all are, all of us in the world, now facing a new challenge where the power of touch has been restricted. No more handshakes or hugs, or if they are, they are now with precautions. Casualties and patients seeing gowned up nurses and doctors. And touch is a non-human feeling, artificial through the latex.

But we are more resilient than we think.

A positive mind and outlook can have a ripple effect on some many, the reverse of what we are being fed daily.

Look beyond, you have so much more and it's all in front of us.

It was my duty to do everything I possibly could to save life.

To look after my crew and the public and then to look after my kids and family as best I could when off duty. Being in charge and responsible for others takes on a new perspective of stress.

Humour is necessary and yet dark at times, but if it gets us through then hey, who's to challenge that? I will laugh at myself so laughing with others makes it way more enjoyable.

If you can hang on to humour then with it comes hope and change.

This may be all we need for now.

So think about others and their struggles, and remember we have the power to affect others in a positive way too.

This may be a door held open or a smile. A smile can be seen through masks as well.

Uplifting to someone who needs it. Acknowledgement of another human being.

Remember we smile with our eyes as well as our mouth, just because we wear a mask,

We have a majority of good humans in this world.

Be kind to your self and to others.

Be that outstretched hand to others in need.


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