A mobile hairdresser from Hemel who was forced to stop cutting hair when the pandemic began quickly changed her career to help the East of England Ambulance Service.
Nicola Johns, or Nikki, decided to become an ambulance cleaner alongside her son during the pandemic and said the result is a win-win for her and the medic’s she’s cleaning for.
Nikki, from Maxsted Road, told HemelNews: “I decided that I couldn’t do this job (hairdressing) in lockdown, but I needed to feel useful. Then myself and my son, Kieran, saw an advert online with an agency to become an ambulance cleaner for the East of England.
“We do get paid for doing this, so it helps us while we can’t do our normal jobs and the contract is due to end last day in May. We do three shifts and have to split our time between Watford and Hemel.
“We had to go on a strict training course to learn all about the hazards of the job and about different equipment we have to clean.”
When they clean the COVID-19 ambulances, they have to wear full PPE, including hazmat suits, goggles face masks, shoe protectors and double gloves.
The pair’s shifts are in 10-hour slots, often overnight. While the job’s no doubt exhausting, Nikki said they’re loving it.
She added: “We love doing this job – it’s very rewarding and the ambulance men and women really appreciate us, because they are tired when they have been out on a job and they can leave everything to us when they get back to the depot and have a longer break and rest.”