Deaf motorbike paramedic heads for the skies

Richard Webb-Stevens is a motorcycle paramedic. Deaf since childhood, he’s persevered through knock-backs and come up with solutions to barriers. He actively promotes deaf awareness and access to emergency services and health care and is an advocate for access to healthcare for deaf/HoH people.

Richard began work with the London Ambulance Service (LAS) over sixteen years ago and has been a motorcycle paramedic for eight. He will shortly be starting a secondment with London’s Air Ambulance as a Flight Paramedic which is his career ambition. I first heard about Richard on the BBC See Hear programme featuring d/Deaf and HoH health professionals in January 2015.

In an article on slfirst, Sarah Lawrence writes,

“Richard is glowing in his praise for managers and colleagues in the London Ambulance Service describing good levels of support. He puts the good relationships he has enjoyed down to 2 things. “ I have always been honest about my hearing loss,” he tells me. “That means I tell people to face me when talking to me and ask them to repeat if I did not hear or understand. The second thing I have done, is to try and come up with solutions to problems or barriers myself, rather than ask others to do it for me.”

When the LAS introduced the Genesis II radio system, Richard contacted his audiology department and the hearing aid and radio systems companies to no avail. Richard persevered and persuaded the ear mould company to make custom moulds that work successfully with the radio and aids together.

Richard actively promotes deaf awareness in the LAS, schools, clubs and other arenas. He learned sign language as an adult and as well as being able to communicate with Deaf patients, he gives emergency first aid training to Deaf groups in BSL.

Read more about Richard at  slfirst.

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