Ron Gillatt, FASI FICAP
AUTHOR OF THE GREEN MAN
Ron Gillatt was born in Manchester, England. After leaving secondary school with a basic education when he was 15, he began a five-year apprenticeship as a motor mechanic at one of the largest Ford dealers in England. While still in that job, in 1962, he joined the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) at the age of 17, becoming an auxiliary fire fighter with the Manchester City Fire Brigade. The training was strict and regimental, but he thoroughly enjoyed the basic training drills and attending incidents alongside the full-time firemen.
He gained a lot of practical hands-on experience while attending fire and roadside emergencies as a volunteer and he realised that emergency work was in fact what he wanted to do full-time. He resigned from the AFS in 1967, and also left the Ford dealership, in order to pursue a new career in ambulance services.
When he joined the City of Manchester Ambulance Service in 1967, he knew it was the right career for him. Ron was among the first wave of men who took formalised paramedical training when it was just getting started in the UK. Over the next period of years, he studied for numerous professional qualifications in evening classes taken at college and eventually this led to a promotion in 1976. Those qualifications included extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, rescue, and advanced patient care.
Then in the early 1980s, local training was made available in nearby hospitals which introduced he and his colleagues to defibrillation, intubation and intravenous infusion. At the time, it was called extended training and it was the forerunner of what would eventually be taught as part of paramedic training courses in the UK.
In 1989, Ron became one of the first qualified paramedics working for what became the Greater Manchester Ambulance Service. Then in 1991, during the first Gulf War, Ron was asked to join a British Medical Team going to the Iran–Iraq border in order to treat thousands of people who were displaced by the war. He answered that call and the placement turned out to be an incredible and life-changing experience.
After returning from the Gulf, he resumed his normal duties. Then in 1993, following a serious back injury, he took up a post of tutor in the Training School where he developed and delivered emergency training to the industry. He completed his career with the ambulance service in 1998, after thirty-one incredible years.
Since he could not imagine actually retiring in any way, Ron started his own training company in England in 1998 and transferred that business to Ontario, Canada in 2001. He thoroughly enjoyed running that very busy international training company for 20 years.
In early 2018, Ron finally officially retired but he continues to be busy in new and different ways. He has time now to pursue his passion for woodworking and he enjoys trap shooting. Without shiftwork and so much travel, he was able to dust off the diaries he had written during his career and enjoys compiling those stories on screen, in his book, and sharing them online.
Ron’s years in the ambulance service were influenced by many events and he enjoyed choosing specific stories and experiences which have been highlighted in his first book, The Green Man. Ron Gillatt lives now with his wife in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada.
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View the AUTHOR AT A GLANCE information sheet.
SELECTED CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
- Served as Leading Paramedic, Station Officer and Trainer for a distinguished 30+ year career with the Greater Manchester Ambulance Services, UK (1967-1997).
- Established RJR Training Services and served as an active trainer and health and safety advisor for industry and communities in the UK and across Ontario (retired in 2018).
- Served as technical advisor to PS5 for the production of Collins Little Gem First Aid Book (Harper Collins, 1999 edition). PS5 is an internationally-acclaimed specialist security consultancy working with law enforcement, defence and the security industries.
- Awarded a Certificate of Commendation for conspicuous meritous conduct and outstanding service, in response to a call whereby Ron worked as a member of a team of four to help stabilize a severely injured man trapped in the machinery of a farm silo (about 60 feet tall) and then safely extract him.
- Received PVOT Award (Priory Vote of Thanks) for recognition of exemplary, dedicated service, assistance or support to the Order of St. John in Canada.
- Fellow of the Ambulance Service Institute (FASI) and Fellow of the Institute of Certified Ambulance Personnel (FICAP).