Stuart Buckland, Squadron Leader and Sector Commander at RAF Halton, line manages 5 Squadrons which includes 250 cadets and 30 volunteer staff. But he also supports the fire safety team at Oxford Health as its Senior Fire Safety Advisor.

Once a cadet himself, starting at 120 Hendon Squadron Air Training Corps in London, Stuart enjoyed activities including flying, adventurous training and participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

He was commissioned into the RAF Volunteer Reserve (Training) branch in June 1989 as an Acting Pilot Officer. His secondary role as Wing Aviation Officer sees him liaising with RAF Benson and RAF Wittering, ensuring cadets get flying opportunities in RAF aircraft.

Stuart spent 30 years in the fire service in a number of capacities, ranging from operational firefighter, a Watch Commander, an Enforcement Officer and finally a Station Commander Protection Team Leader for Buckinghamshire. This then led him to apply for the role at Oxford Health in January 2019.

“Whilst I retired from the fire service, I felt I was still young enough to start a new career.

“With the skills and experience I’d acquired as a Fire Safety Specialist, I thought a transition into the Health Service would be a terrific opportunity to continue my own development and to still provide useful service to the Public Sector.”

Stuart now enjoys being part of a dedicated fire safety team that is committed to providing a safe environment for our Patients, Visitors and Staff. His team are keeping busy throughout the lockdown and Stuart continues to support cadets with virtual parades, quizzes and other activities.

He said: “I am always impressed with the commitment and professionalism of the Trusts staff and volunteers. Their continued ability to ‘pull out all the stops’, especially during the current Covid – 19 pandemic has been nothing short of inspirational. How could anybody not want to work with them?”

When asked if he would recommend a career with the NHS to RAF personnel and Air Cadet Volunteers, Stuart said: “To work with a truly amazing group of people and to continue to be able to serve their local community, they should seriously consider a future career with the NHS.”

To find out about job opportunities at Oxford Health contact Diane Woodward, Armed Forces Champion, by emailing diane.woodward@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk

For information about joining other NHS Trusts you can visit the Military Step into Health here: https://www.militarystepintohealth.nhs.uk/