Ambo Kevin Youlden.
Ambo Kevin Youlden.

Biggest Loser dream ends

WARWICK paramedic Kevin Youlden has always had a big sense of humour, a quality which proved critical when he made the top 50 shortlist for television’s high-rating Australia’s Biggest Loser program recently.

The local ambulance officer auditioned for the program’s family series with his two daughters Emma, 28, and Jess, 30.

Despite boasting a story line to make a screenwriter rejoice – the trio are all involved in emergency services, all struggled with weight loss and all possess a super size humour – they were given the official flick on Friday.

“My daughters are both emergency dispatch officers and my wife is a nurse, so we’re a pretty medical orientated family,” Mr Youlden said.

“The producers told us we hadn’t made it on Friday and that was pretty disappointing.

“We passed the first audition, we did okay in the screen test and we made it to the last 50 before we were told not this time.”

But the decision hasn’t thwarted his hopes of one day making it big on the small screen.

“I’ll be back auditioning again next year,” he said.

The upside is this week; spurred on by the television rejection he hired his own personal trainer.

His plan is to juggle the gym with the role keeping him busier than ever: his work as a local paramedic.

Speaking out today as the country celebrates National Ambulance Week, Mr Youlden said it was a career he relished.

“I’m 60 now and I’ve been an ambo for 30 years and it has been a great job,” he said.

Three decades ago he swapped a comfortable position with the Commonwealth Government to try life as an ambulance officer in the busy streets of inner Melbourne.

“I then, would you believe it, left Melbourne for the Gold Coast because I wanted something less busy,” Mr Youlden said.

“Needless to say it was just as busy as the city.”

Then a few years ago he made the move to Warwick where his work life proved significantly quieter.

“Every place is different, but there are always challenges,” Mr Youlden said.

“An older population means more cardiac incidents; a major highway means more traffic accidents.”

He said coping with stress in a life-and-death job was crucial.

“For me it’s being able to talk through situations with my workmates.”

He said medical equipment and skill levels had changed, but am ambo’s greatest asset was still an ability to communicate.

And the best part of his job: bringing babies into the world, which he has done half a dozen times. And the toughest: when a child dies on your watch.


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