“Ambulance Service is the patient breathing?”


Monday 9th January 2017 – 11am – Claire Brown.

Ambulance Service is the Patient Breathing.jpg

If you’ve ever called 999, you’ll recognise these words. It’s the first thing our control room call assessors say when they answer the phone to a 999 emergency call.

Throughout each and every shift this simple and life-saving phrase is repeated thousands of times but never ever said with anything less than the utmost importance. If you fancy a new challenge in 2017, we’re recruiting for call assessors to join our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Stafford.

You don’t have to drive on blue lights but you are just as important in helping to save lives.  Call assessors are the first point of contact for anyone calling 999 for an ambulance; this could be an elderly man suffering a stroke, a mother worried about her unresponsive baby, a driver who has just witnessed a road traffic collision or a husband who suspects his wife isn’t breathing. Whilst help is being arranged for the patient, call assessors establish what’s happened, check on the patient’s symptoms and offer advice over the phone; advice that can and does saves lives.

As our newest recruits into the control room will tell you, it’s one of the most rewarding jobs they’ve ever done.

Annie-Rose Blackwell applied for the role in October last year, three months later, she was answering 999 calls. Annie said: “I was already working for the Trust as a call taker for patient transport but when the job in EOC came up I wanted to experience more of an emergency environment. The training proved intense and at times difficult but the support given by the trainers made the process enjoyable.

My proudest moment in my new role so far is helping a patient in cardiac arrest and hearing them breathe again. My advice to anyone thinking of applying would be to just go for it! You’d be surprised what you can achieve with a good team behind you.”

The three-month training includes a nationally recognised first aid qualification, learning about health and physiology, an accreditation to use the national telephone triage system and comprehensive training to use the Trust’s computer systems. Once you’ve completed the classroom based training, you’ll be mentored in the Emergency Operations Centre taking 999 calls with an experienced call assessor until undertaking a final assessment where you’ll then be signed off as ready to taken 999 calls alone.

To view the vacancy, job description and person specification, please visit http://www.jobs.nhs.uk/xi/vacancy/39c8ab9d7aaf237d300707e145e30153/?vac_ref=914465905 or search on NHS job for reference number 217-VN248-16-17. The closing date for applications is Thursday 19th January.


Pictured (left to right): Theresa Alldritt, Natasha Robinson and Annie-Rose Blackwell.


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