David Holdsworth - Blog

I am new to the industry after completing my CP course with a Northern Ireland company and I am actively seeking work. I became interested in the circuit years ago as I followed the career of a friend of mine who had done a few years in the Green Jackets and the Royal Irish then decided to venture off to South Africa to do a course. I plied my trade in the Royal Engineers and after signing off returned to full time education to study Sports Therapy. This was a hard few years as I had a home to support and bills to pay but I finished and progressed quickly to a manager's position at a Leisure facility. I did however miss the banter, camaraderie and opportunities the army gave me. In 2007 a friend of mine informed me that his local Reserve Army unit (TA) were deploying to Afghanistan and they were looking people. I signed up, did the training and volunteered. This was the early stages of the conflict and I was attached to the Pioneers, driving a WMIK with the main task of clearing routes for convoys all over Helmand. I subsequently volunteered for further tours with various units with the sole aim of ensuring I had the experience and at least three operational tours on my CV when I started the process of training to be a CP operator. In-between Afghanistan 'trips', I did a UN tour of sunny Cyprus with a security related humorous twist. We deployed as a body of troops predominately from South and East Belfast and along came the usual paraphernalia of football tops and flags. As July approached, the Argentines and the Hungarians that we worked with were enjoying the 'Ulster Craic' as much as us. They though couldn't understand the utter dismay and disbelief on the troops faces when a 'fastball' detail came in. The boys from Belfast had been tasked with supplying a QRF, a public order team and an inner cordon for his Holiness the Pope! He was due to visit and hold Mass at a Chapel in the Buffer Zone. I was in charge of a young section that did a brilliant professional job on the day but there were a few local laughs as the story hit the regional paper with pictures of these lads from Sandy Row standing to attention as the Pope walks within touching distance. Further insight into security implications was learnt on this tour as the same team were tasked with assisting the local groups overseeing the Cypriot peace talks. I completed my CP course in 2011 but as previously stated I volunteered for another tour in 2011/12 and on my return set about enhancing my medical qualifications. I am very pragmatic and it took me a while to choose which course to do and I eventually settled on an EMT-B course in Guatemala. I was a team medic on ops and with my background in sports injuries it is a field that interests me the most. The hand on experience on the streets of Guatemala City is hard to equal and it is frequented by medical professionals to gain trauma experience. I am in the process of continuing my education as an EMT and currently volunteer with the British Red Cross as an Emergency Responder. I am finding it difficult to break onto the circuit for a number of reasons but it is a career I want to pursue and I believe I am on the right track. I am learning and understand the importance of good networking. I recently attended a small event in Northern Ireland and met a few good contacts. I have had to keep my hand in with the reserve forces as well and in the last few weeks have been to Kenya as part of a training team with the Rifles and I am currently enjoying adventure training in Spain. I aim to get the relevant corporate experience to add to my professionally written CV and once I am in a position I am confident my attributes will give me a decent career. David Holdsworth


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