DYW Key Workers – Richard Laird

With over 40 years of service Richard Laird has wore many hats whilst working for the Scottish Ambulance Service. Now in his role as Community Resilience Team Leader he travels across the North of Scotland (a vast area approximately the size of Belgium!) to support volunteers!

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NameRichard Laird
Age63
HometownGlasgow
Job TitleCommunity Resilience Team Leader (Scottish Ambulance Service)
Previous JobsDay Hospital Driver
Ambulance Technician
Planning Officer
Control Officer
MACU Officer (mobile ambulance control unit)
Emergency Planning Officer
Resilience Advisor

What attracted you to the industry you are in?

Helping people, job satisfaction.


How long have you been with the company?

41 years.


Describe your day-to-day role

Currently involves travelling across the north of Scotland (this includes Perthshire, Angus, Grampian, Highlands, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles including Mull and Iona) visiting our volunteers and assisting with any issues they have. I also manage a team of 4 delivering training to these volunteers.


What kind of training have you done?

First Aid, Ambulance Technician, Emergency Planning courses, Crowd control, Event Management, Special Operations, and many other forms of training too numerous to list.


What skills have you learned?

People management, CPR, Emergency Driving, 4×4 driving, Keeping calm, Conflict resolution and many others too numerous to list.


Do you like living and working in Dundee and Angus?

Love it. From Glasgow originally and find Dundee people similar to Glaswegians in the best possible way. I live in Angus very close to Dundee and love where I live as there are numerous beautiful walks close to me along with stunning views.


What skills are the most important for you to do your job well?

People management and CPR.


Was there anything about the job that surprised you?

The level of job satisfaction available for the last 41 years.


Is there anything unusual about your role?

The area I cover is vast, approximately the size of Belgium and I manage around 1000 volunteers.


What’s your favourite part of the job?

I get to travel across the most beautiful country in the world.


Did you always want to pursue a career in this industry?

No. I wanted to be a farmer when I was much younger. When I left school I wanted to join the RAF but that didn’t happen. I emigrated to Canada where I spent 2 years working for the Hudson’s Bay Company in retail. I continued in retail on my return to Scotland after not extending my contract in Canada. I then wanted to join the police but was too small!! (5’4” and back then you had to be 5’8”!!). A friend who was a Police Officer suggested I try the ambulance service and the rest as they say, is history!


What is your advice for young school leavers looking to start an apprenticeship?

If you get the opportunity to do so grasp it!


What is your career goal?

Bit late for that now as retirement beckons soon!!


How does it feel to be a KeyWorker on the frontline, supporting the Country’s fight against Covid-19

Gives me a lot of pride but get embarrassed by folk clapping as I feel I and my colleagues are very much doing our job!


Tell us what makes you proud to be a Keyworker

Saving lives.