Slavi Pachalov

Volunteer Motorcycle Paramedic
ENA Emergency Service, Bulgaria

“As a motorcycle paramedic, I am often the first to arrive on the scene of an accident. My main tasks are to ensure the safety of the injured and the others and to assess the situation. This means I have to be always in good form, to provide a fast and analytical response.

I have been working as a volunteer for ENA Emergency Service since April 2010. It seems like it was yesterday. Before this, I had already started to train paramedics for the Bulgarian Red Cross. On more than 10 occasions I was able to use my knowledge to help people when I happened to be present at road accidents. A person with a fractured skull and heavy haemorrhage and a person with serious chest injury were among those whose lives I have saved. So, I quickly took the chance to join the ENA Emergency Service team.

In Bulgaria, it’s mostly doctors and nurses who work in emergency services. Working as a member of the ENA Emergency Service team, I want to prove that paramedics have their place in emergency services. This is probably common practice across the world, but in Bulgaria paramedics and their work are still an “exotic” phenomenon.

People don’t know how hard the work of the emergency teams is. You have to be always in good form, to assess and analyse each situation, to keep learning and developing your skills, so that you can be of help to others. In an accident, I am 100% involved, mentally and physically. Despite the stress, I have no right to make a mistake. It takes a lot of personal qualities, but it also takes full dedication to the job.

I’m motivated by the sense of fulfilment at the end of the day. I believe each incident has been a further motivation. There have been moments when I have been helpless before fate and an irreversible outcome. This has, however, become a stronger motivation to continue to save human lives. One does never get used to death. Next time I shall try to be ahead of it again.

Volunteering is a vocation. It is a mission. If every day you are almost at the top of the hill but fate shows you that there is yet another step to make, if you are not selfish, if you know that this final step depends on your other foot – your team, if you realise that you are the last hope of a person in danger, if you can bear the responsibility of the expectations towards you, then you have to be one of us!”

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