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Wayne: From the stage to the ambulance

From releasing his first album titled Vir ’n Oomblik on iTunes and Google Play to a sold-out CD launch in Bloemfontein, Wayne Jooste has had quite a year. It is easy to forget that this muso is as comfortable on the stage as he is in an ER24 ambulance.

Wayne is an Advanced Life Support (ALS) medic from the ER24 Bloemfontein branch. He is currently completing his BTech degree in Emergency Medical Care. Wayne, who grew up in Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal, has been calling Bloemfontein home since 2012.

The Musician

Currently, Wayne is part of Sneeubal Musiek, a musical group that consists of him (voice and guitar), Chantelle Minnie (voice) and Jaco Spies (drums). Wayne wrote all the songs featured on the album, and in July the band officially launched their CD in Bloemfontein.

“The launch went very well, and we sold a lot of CDs. We even had a group of nurses from Mediclinic Bloemfontein who came to see the show. Everyone was very supportive of us. At the end of the month, we will be performing at Aardklop in Potchefstroom. We are also hoping to do a show in Paarl in December,” said Wayne.

“We are planning to release another single in December and then a whole album next year. So, watch this space.”

Lucas Bezuidenhout, ER24 Bloemfontein Branch Manager, is a big fan of Wayne’s music.

“I listen to his CD in my response vehicle, and I think it is music for the soul. I try and support him wherever I can. He is also a very passionate medic who I am happy to have as part of my team.”

Wayne’s love for music started at a young age. He used to do the sound engineering for events, and this enabled him to make some pocket money.

Ironically enough, it was his love for music that also pushed him towards the emergency medical services.

“I played the guitar for a known gospel singer and while travelling I was intrigued by the ambulances I would see on the road. If you frequently travel, as we did, you also come across a lot of incidents. This just sparked my interest to pursue a career as a medic,” said Wayne.

The Paramedic

“I’ve been working for ER24 for the past three years. It is nice to be part of a groundbreaking company where I, on a daily basis, learn and grow tremendously,” said Wayne.

According to Wayne, people within the industry say that a medic has a ‘shelf life’ of three years, but this, he says, he doesn’t agree with.

“Being a paramedic is hard work, and it can be very tough both physically and mentally. My music provides me with a healthy escape from the things you might encounter as a paramedic. Music and the songs I write, provide me with the good stuff I need to stay focused and not to burn out,” said Wayne.

He laughs when asked whether people are intrigued when hearing about his two different interests.

“People are usually surprised, but it makes for a nice conversation,” said Wayne.

Michael Lewis, Wayne’s colleague and friend, frequently supports him at his shows.

“He is a great paramedic who is passionate about patients as well as service delivery. He is also very confident in everything he does, and I think this is a good characteristic to have. I am fond of his music as the words have meaning, and it is well written. He speaks about his music and profession with the same passionate voice,” said Michael.

Finding the right harmony

Although Wayne’s musical career has hit a high note, he won’t be leaving the EMS soon. Right now, he is focusing on balancing both and enjoying what comes his way.

“I have a massive passion for the EMS. I am hoping to start with my master’s degree next year. I won’t leave the emergency services to focus solely on my music; I can do both. I believe I can make a difference in people’s lives both as a paramedic and as a performer. You inspire, you are in service of people, you help – whether with your songs or with your hands,” said Wayne.

Wayne laughs as he continues, “if I leave the EMS, what do I do from a Monday to a Friday?”

In 10-years’ time, he hopes that he will still be doing what he does now, with a few minor differences here and there.

“I’d like to write songs for movies and have my songs featured on soundtracks. Writing songs is a big passion of mine as is performing. I’d like to work as a flight medic as well, and hopefully, I have completed my master’s degree by then.”