Former army medic Paul Cherry has swapped battlefields for oil fields after making a radical career change into the offshore sector with the help of AIS Medipro.

Paul, aged 46, from Guisborough spent 22 years as a medic in the army with tours of duty in Cyprus, Kosovo and Iraq under his belt. But after years of saving lives on the front line, Paul wanted to work in a more controlled environment so left the army and trained as a nurse for three years.

Paul got a job working in an NHS hospital’s A&E department, alongside his wife, but juggling different shifts and childcare for their four children left little time for quality family life together.

It was at that point Paul considered an offshore career.

He said: “I still wanted to care for people and potentially save lives but my biggest priority was to ensure quality of life for my family. Working offshore offered that possibility so I went to AIS Medipro to train as an offshore medic. Within days of completing the HSE Offshore Medic course with them I had a job offer on the table as an offshore medic.

“The work as an offshore medic is very broad. On any one day you could be dealing with anything from basic coughs and colds to appendicitis or general health checks. You also need to have trauma experience just in case the worst happens. Because of my military background it was an easy transition to working away from home in an isolated environment and I advanced very quickly.

“I’m now working as a health and safety consultant and oversee the health, safety and hygiene practices on offshore installations around the world. I’ve been to Burma, Australia, Vietnam and Columbia to name but a few. The lifestyle is fantastic – I’m earning eight times as much as I did in the army and I’m only working six months of the year. It gives me the quality time off with my family that I always wanted and plenty of money to enjoy our time together.

“I certainly have no regrets. Working offshore has been the best career decision I’ve ever made.”

Brian English from AIS Medipro said: “Offshore medics are massively in demand and there are numerous job opportunities for trained medical personnel. Those from the military tend to make a very easy transition into offshore life as there are lots of synergies. You’re working away from home, living in close proximity to other men in a confined space, with a lot of similar camaraderie.

“I’m delighted to hear how well Paul has done in his offshore career. Hopefully his story will act as inspiration to encourage other clinicians to consider working in the oil and gas industry as an alternative career option.”