Amateur Boxer Lands Knockout Job At Ambulance Service

An amateur boxer has landed a knockout new job at the Welsh Ambulance Service.

Jamie Jones, of Tal-y-Bont, Bangor, is learning the ropes as an Ambulance Care Assistant for the Trust’s Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service.

It is a family affair for the 23-year-old heavyweight whose uncle works for the service and whose late grandfather also had more than 15 years under his belt.

Jamie taking a break on the ropes

Jamie, who until recently worked at his father’s joinery business, started at the Trust in August after searching for a job that would allow him to fulfil his gruelling training schedule.

He said: “I’ve been boxing since I was 16 — it was just a hobby in the beginning, but it quickly turned into a serious pursuit.’

“Boxing teaches you discipline, but it also gives you confidence and keeps you well physically and mentally.’

“I’d love to progress into pro boxing, but in the meantime I fancied something a bit different to joinery and my ambition was to pursue a career in the ambulance service.’

“My uncle Mark is an Emergency Medical Technician and my grandfather John worked for the service for 15 years, so I suppose you could say I’m following in their footsteps.’

“I typically train 3-4 times a week, and this role gives me the flexibility to do my job but also pursue my passion, and the Trust have been really supportive in that way.”

Ambulance Care Assistants in the Trust’s Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service are trained to take patients to and from their routine hospital appointments.

Jamie Jones, Ambulance Care Assistant, WAST, and amateur heavyweight boxer

No formal qualifications are required for the role, but candidates are expected to demonstrate a reasonable standard of education.

They must have the physical strength to fulfil the manual handling element of the role and can also expect long periods of driving.

More importantly, recruits must have experience of delivering excellent customer care.

The Trust is recruiting an additional 20 Ambulance Care Assistants in North Wales.

Jamie, who is based at Colwyn Bay Ambulance Station, is encouraging others to apply.

He said: “What I enjoy most about the role is that you’re meeting new people every day, and I’ve been made to feel so welcome.’

“You could enjoy a lifelong career in the non-emergency service, but it’s also a great foundation role — especially for young people — not only to start you off in your career but also in life.’

“Personally, I’d like to progress into an Emergency Medical Technician role so that I’m delivering clinical care to patients, and this is a great springboard for that.”

Click here for more information and to apply for the Ambulance Care Assistant role.

The closing date is 17 November 2021.

Control Room Heroes Celebrated In International Campaign

A week-long campaign has shone a welcome spotlight on the unsung heroes of emergency services control rooms to highlight their vital, life-saving work.

Organised by NEC Software Solutions, International Control Room Week ran from 18-24 October and saw control room staff and colleagues celebrate across the UK and Ireland and as far afield as Australia and New Zealand.

The week is the highlight of the emergency services calendar and this year’s campaign involved almost 100 emergency services organisations worldwide, reaching 23.6 million people across the globe and generating 41,800 interactions on social media.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service Watch Manager, Liz Massarealla

Teams marked the week in many ways, from writing poems about the work of control room heroes and organising baking competitions, to designing their own t-shirts, issuing long service awards to staff, and recognising the best-dressed control rooms.

Actor Graham Cole OBE, who played PC Tony Stamp in long-running ITV police drama The Bill, shared a video on Twitter praising control room staff for their work, which was retweeted by Sergeant Mike Templeman of Lincolnshire Police.

Speaking in his video, Graham said: “Wishing you a great week of celebrations. Thank you, each and every one of you, for what you do.’

“It’s a thankless task, and it’s so psychologically demanding. I have been in many control rooms over the years and met many staff, and you’re under such stress.’

“Thank you for your calm, clear advice that you give us on the end of the phone. You are very precious people. Enjoy your week, you control room heroes.”

Challenges around the number of non-emergency calls made to control room call handlers were also highlighted during the week.

Avon and Somerset Police tweeted that control room staff received 1,103 non-emergency calls compared to 324 emergency incident reports in just one nine-hour shift, including a call from a member of the public reporting a cat meowing too loudly!

Avon & Somerset Police 101 Operators

The force’s control room teams and colleagues also raised funds for charity, recognised individual staff who have gone above and beyond the call of duty and held bake sales to mark the week.

Chloe Hope, Senior Leadership Team Comms Manager at Avon and Somerset Police, said: “We’ve really enjoyed taking part in International Control Room Week and celebrating all of the different ways we serve our communities.’

“As a communications family, it’s a great opportunity to reflect and be proud of the effort we put in and thank our staff for the work they do.’

“Our job is unique and we’re lucky to have the people we have. We’re often the first person people speak to at the worst times in their lives and it’s so important to get that right.’

“We want our communities to trust the non-emergency channels to contact us and rely on us where needed. As well as the 101 service being 24 hours, there are alternative ways to contact us using our website and online services when your call is not related to an emergency or urgent matter, but sometimes other agencies and services are best placed to help. People shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to them too.”

New South Wales Ambulance in Australia also used Twitter to praise their control centre staff who work closely with paramedic colleagues to provide the best care for their communities.

Staff at Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service completed a cycling, running, walking and swimming challenge with colleagues last year and this year saw them design their own t-shirts, hold a raffle, and invite colleagues into the control room for tea, coffee and cake to find out more about their work.

Ash Spriggs, Crew Manager for Fire Control at Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This is the best week of the year for us and we took to social media to celebrate it.’

“We held a raffle for a blood cancer charity after a colleague lost her brother to leukaemia and we’ve had a lot of interest from across the fire and rescue service community, as well as from local media and members of the public.”

Crew Manager Imran Lambat and Watch Manager Tom Augusztinyi of Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service

“It’s nice to have the spotlight thrown on us for a change. The public think of fire engines rushing out to burning buildings, but there is so much support behind that. We work extremely closely with our operational crews, but we’re often unseen.”

NEC sent celebration boxes filled with items to help celebrate the week to participating control room teams, including notecards, bunting, posters and balloons to dress up their workspaces.

The company is also donating £1 to the Marie Curie and End Youth Homelessness charities for every social media post carrying the hashtag #ControlRoomHeroes shared during the week. £2,380 will be split between the two causes, continuing the positive legacy of the annual campaign.

Steve Ainsworth, NEC Software Solutions’ Executive Director of Public Safety, said: “Control room staff go above and beyond in their roles every day and we want them to know their critical work doesn’t go unnoticed.’

“They are the beating heart of emergency services organisations and International Control Room Week is dedicated to recognising the fact that they are there for those most in need 24/7, 365 days a year.’

“They make immediate, often life-saving decisions to keep members of the public and communities safe and we truly value their outstanding work. We hope everyone had a fantastic week.”

Flight Attendant Lands Job In Ambulance Service

A flight attendant who was made redundant during the COVID-19 pandemic has landed a new job at the Welsh Ambulance Service.

Sarah Goulding, of Connah’s Quay, Flintshire, has joined the Trust as an Ambulance Care Assistant after an illustrious 32-year career with British Airways.

The mother-of-two was one of 10,000 British Airways workers to have lost their jobs at the height of the pandemic.

Sarah Goulding is now an ECA with Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Sarah, 54, was inspired to re-train for the ambulance service having given life-saving first aid to dozens of passengers over the years.

She said: “I had an amazing career with British Airways and was fortunate to have travelled all over the world.’

“Every year we had to study aviation medicine as part of our training, because you can’t call an ambulance at 38,000 feet.’

“I saw it all — childbirth, fitting, heart attacks and even sudden deaths – and I’d always really enjoyed giving first aid in an emergency.’

“When I was offered voluntary redundancy, I thought about what other professions I’d enjoy and which would allow me to transfer my skills.’

“The ambulance service appealed to me because firstly, I liked the idea of helping people, and secondly, I liked the idea of being out and about in the community.’

“The nature of the airline industry means you’re never in one place for very long, and I wanted to keep hold of that element.”

Ambulance Care Assistants are trained to treat and transport low acuity patients to hospital.

They provide basic life support and carry out urgent planned transfers from a patient’s home to hospital, as well as inter-hospital transfers.

The Welsh Ambulance Service is recruiting Ambulance Care Assistants in South Wales.

Sarah Goulding as an Air Stewardess with British Airways

Applicants must have a minimum of five GCSEs at Grade C or above including Maths, English/Welsh and Science, or other equivalent educational qualifications.

Training includes four weeks of patient care training and one week of driver training.

Sarah said: “I’ve been in the role for 12 months now and I’m really enjoying it.’

“Every day you learn something new, and helping people in their hour of need is such a rewarding feeling.’

“I think about my parents and grandparents and how I’d want them to be treated — that’s how I treat my patients.’

“For me, it’s about giving patients the respect and dignity they deserve and making them as comfortable as possible.”

Wrexham-based Sarah is encouraging others to apply for the role.

She said: “If you like working in a public-facing role and as part of team, then you should definitely think about becoming an Ambulance Care Assistant.

“I think the other important prerequisites for the job are patience, empathy and a good sense of humour.

“We sometimes find ourselves in pretty dark situations, so it’s important to be able to find some light relief and humour with your colleagues.

“Most importantly, you’ve got to enjoy helping people — I certainly do.”

Click here for more information and to apply before the 11 November 2021 closing date.

Motorcycle Response Unit Rides Again

Since this Monday 1st November motorcycle paramedics have been back on the road again responding to 999 calls across London.

When the pandemic started, paramedics from the Motorcycle Response Unit (MRU) were moved to other roles as London Ambulance Service adapted its fleet in response to COVID-19.

In today’s relaunch, MRU paramedics will spend half their shifts responding to the most seriously ill or injured patients and the rest of their shifts working in the 999 control room.

Richard Webb-Stevens, interim head of MRU, said: “We are really excited to be back on our bikes supporting the trust and delivering a high standard of care to our patients by reaching the sickest the quickest.’

Richard Webb-Stevens, Interim Head of the Motorcycle Response Unit (MRU), LAS

“In life or death situations, every second counts and the freedom we have on a motorcycle to access areas other vehicles can’t reach means we really can make a difference to people’s lives.”

The relaunch comes exactly 30 years since the Motorcycle Response Unit was first launched at London Ambulance Service as a trial scheme.

One of the bikes LAS was using back in 1991

Back in 1991, the motorcycle paramedics proved how useful they could be in reaching patients quickly in busy and congested areas.

They are often the first paramedics on scene — most notably when they responded to the Westminster terror attack in 2017.

The bikes carry the same life-saving equipment as ambulances, including a defibrillator.  

There are almost 30 motorcycle paramedics in the unit and they undergo rigorous riding training with a police instructor before they are recruited.

Motorcycle paramedics will be based out of Croydon, Ilford and Waterloo but new technology on the bikes means that riders can now respond to calls throughout London. Previously they have only been able to work in certain locations.

Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles said: “Not only are they back on their motorcycles, but they will also be using their skills in the 999 control room.’

“These senior clinicians will be so important as we head into winter — they will be supporting crews in their decision-making and be available to talk to our patients. Our cycle response unit (CRU) colleagues are doing the same thing.”