MoD 'medic' defends himself

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The Independent Online
Vernon Sexton defended his paramedic work yesterday, and claimed that the blue lights on the top of his private car were a necessity.

Dressed in a grey, pinstripe suit and carrying a heavy black leather briefcase containing his medical certificates, he said: "I use blue lights on my car in relation to the work I do for the Ministry of Defence and for the work for the charity the London Accident and Emergency Medic Team."

Asked if the MoD had ever required him to use blue lights on his car to drive from east London for 30-40 minutes to attend to situations in central London, he said: "There have been such circumstances."

When told that the ministry had denied that this had ever happened, he said: "I find that difficult to believe. I have received calls from the MoD. I have received calls from the resident clerk to attend emergencies."

He has also said he has a parking space at the MoD in connection with his medical work, although the letter of authorisation came from a colleague of his in its health and safety department.

"There's nothing untoward about that. It was written quite properly by one of my colleagues," Mr Sexton said.

Told that the MoD had said it had no knowledge of this parking right, he said: "It would surprise me that they had no knowledge about that."

He said his ambulance group had an arrangement with a London leisure centre because of concerns that the official London Ambulance Service often took 30 minutes to attend serious injuries or even heart attacks. "We come to look after serious patients until the LAS crew arrives," he said. "They seem happy with this arrangement."

Of his qualifications, he said: "It's common practice for voluntary organisations to run in-house courses. The qualification is a perfectly proper one. A consultant in surgery, especially trauma, was an outside examiner."

He called for the standardisation of all voluntary ambulance organisations, commenting: "If that were to happen we would all be better off."

Of his "ambulance", he said: "It's an old vehicle. It's one which we're seeking to replace with a new vehicle. The difficulty is in raising the money. It's perfectly capable operationally, it has an MOT certificate."

Asked about the attachment of blue lights to his private car he said: "It's used to bring equipment in the boot of the car to the leisure centre. On occasions where there is a serious incident and we're called to provide an immediate response, where the ambulance services are awaited, it's necessary."