Advent Calendar Window 15 – Louise Harris, Recruitment Advisor

15 - Recruitment Advisor - Louise Harris

Name: Louise Harris

Job Title: Recruitment Advisor

Base: Ambulance Headquarters in Brierley Hill

Length of service: Just over 5 years

Role within WMAS:

I am in charge of recruiting all of the new paramedics, technicians and other frontline staff that the organisation needs.  It’s been a pretty busy year as we’ve taken on 290 new staff.  I organise putting the adverts on NHS jobs (; sifting through the hundreds of applications, and deciding who to interview.  It’s really important that we get the right staff as they could make the difference between life and death.  The recruitment process isn’t easy – as well as an interview we test their driving ability; fitness; clinical skills; literacy; numeracy; and problem solving.  Together with my colleagues we’re ensuring the Trust achieves its vision of having a paramedic on every vehicle.  The future certainly doesn’t look like easing up; in January we will start recruiting 120 new student paramedics.  Whilst my job will be really busy, I know that my efforts will mean patients get an even better service.

Christmas day plans:

It could be great; or it could be a disaster!  For the first time in my 28 years, I will be cooking Christmas Dinner for my family.  Not quite sure how that happened, but I suppose it probably was about time I got round to doing it.  Wish me luck!

Top tip for winter:

Decorations are not as innocent as they might appear!

You would be amazed at how many people end up dialling 999 or going to A&E whilst putting up their Christmas decorations. Nationally, thousands of people are injured. Injuries include nasty cuts from cutting the top off the tree that was slightly too big.  Christmas lights lead to electric shocks and children swallowing bulbs.  Glass baubles can be dangerous if they break and adults are known to fall from chairs while trying to reach just a little too far to put that last decoration up.  Christmas candles are beautiful but never leave an open flame unattended – people are 50% more likely to die in a house fire over Christmas than at any other time of year.  Finally, Christmas plants can be particularly nasty – you may want to be kissed under the Mistletoe, but the berries are poisonous and can cause heart problems and hallucinations.  The Christmas rose is so effective at causing diarrhoea that it was used as a chemical weapon by the ancient Greeks.  Merry Christmas!

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