A keen table-tennis player, avid Bristol Rovers fan and lover of live music, Dave, has spent the vast majority of his life in Bristol, which is also the home of Limbs & Things. Since starting in a stores role, Dave, a self-proclaimed joker, has found himself dotted around in various production roles; from the stores, to the foam room, to his current role in assembly. Not one for standing still, he says: “I do tend to go through phases where I’ll do some years and then I’ll want to do something else to perk me up, something a little bit different. A change is as good as a rest is what I think.”
Dave manages the technical construction of our PROMPT Flex Standard and Advanced Babies, whilst also being at the forefront for the manufacture of our FLS (The Fundamentals of Laproscopic Surgery) training models. Typically modest, Dave sheepishly says: “I deal with all the electronics. It’s quite easy to be honest, if I can do it, anybody can do it! It’s quite simple, all I do is configure the boards and all that sort of stuff – it looks more difficult than it is.”
Whilst Dave’s modest approach to his role certainly plays down his importance, his meticulous work with our PROMPT Flex babies paints a much different picture. Every baby and ultimately every PROMPT Flex Birthing Simulator that is sold requires Dave’s careful touch and mindful consideration as he decides whether it’s good enough to be used for training the next batch of midwives or obstetric consultants.
His work doesn’t stop there. Dave is the go-to man where assembling the FLS models is concerned: “I work on the FLS stuff predominantly now because it’s so busy. So, I’ll make, with help from others of course, the lowers, the tops, the lights and all the electronics for the FLS stuff. And then I pack them and send them out the door. That’s pretty much my job; FLS and the babies, I make the babies!”, he explains. As the use of laparoscopic surgery continues to progress across the health industry, so does the importance of FLS to Limbs & Things.
“If people are learning from these models that we’re making, or the ones I’m making personally, then that’s fantastic. It’s brilliant and there’s an element of pride attached to that. I’ve got pride in my work, if ever I send anything out of this place, I want it to be good and I can’t see why anyone else wouldn’t have the same attitude. I’ll even have pride in making my tea! If all these young nurses and doctors are gaining experience and ideas and then are learning from the stuff we’re making then that’s great, because we’re all going to need them eventually”, he continues.
Products like FLS and the PROMPT Flex Babies haven’t always been a constant at Limbs and Things, but Dave almost has been. Reflecting on his work over the last 18 years, Dave stops short of blowing his own personal trumpet, and simply says: “I think down here, down on the shop floor we can be really pleased with what we’re doing. I think we all do a really good job, and everyone should be happy with what they do here. All in all, it is a good place to work. For me personally, this place has been a godsend.”
Dave’s laughter, positive outlook and general good character is infectious. His colleagues drift in and out of his working area, all of them leaving with a wide smile or grin plastered on their faces. 18 years on, Dave remains an essential cog in the Limbs & Things machine.