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Harnessing 41 years of frontline experience at East Midlands Ambulance Service

Tue 20th May, 2014
Harnessing 41 years of frontline experience at East Midlands Ambulance Service

Sometimes in life you meet people who completely humble you, writes East Midlands Ambulance Service LiA Lead Mark Dawn.

"Last week at one of our LiA Colleague Conversations at Market Rasen Racecourse in Lincolnshire, myself and others had the privilege of being in the company of a man who had spent all his working life caring for patients on the road, in one guise or another, as an ambulance frontline worker.

My fellow LiA leads and I had persuaded this man to come to this LiA Conversation on a recent visit to the ambulance station where he is based. It is fair to say he was undoubtedly sceptical about LiA.

In the room yesterday he was very quiet to begin with. But after engaging with colleagues and sharing ideas (as well as one or two jokes!) he shared with us all that he had done 41 years with the ambulance service.

He instantly received a spontaneous, rapturous round of applause from the entire room.

The gentleman’s only request directly to our Chief Executive, Sue Noyes - who was attending her third LiA Conversation of the week - was that the organisation listen to those in the service who know the job inside-out.

When the event was winding down, I spoke with him and he said how much he had enjoyed the event and how he wants to be involved, moving forward, at a local level influencing/driving change – even if he is retired by then!

If he, after four decades of hard work on the frontline of a demanding ambulance service, can make this commitment to driving our service forward through the spread of LiA, then any of us can.

I am immensely inspired by this man, as I’m sure many others who were at this LiA event are too.

If the plethora of comments we had written on tablecloths are anything to go by, it certainly looks like this is the case!"

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Anita wood

Sat 24th May, 2014. 10:14AM

It's great to read that Emas are taking front line staff serious especially those that formed Emas from smaller local ambulance service. New people may bring fresh ideas but the staff that have been on the service for 20 plus years have seen ideas repeated and tend to know already the ideas that are most likely to work! I was in Nottingham ambulance service before it merged and merged again. It became big and un manageable as people at the top continued to expand more manages than front line staff thinking they had all the answers. Years ago ambulance stations formed its own team of people from cleaner to leading ambulance man to station officer. Each station worked as a team managing own rota and shortfalls making the whole team accountable if thing was not working! There's lots to be said for the good old days. I left Emas last year after a period of bereavements which made me jump off the hamster wheel and re think do I stay technician / paramedic or go down a new path, I applied for assistant practitioner and started my new job last august. I left my station with one friend there that was doing stock. A hug from her meant the end if nearly 20 years in Emas. I sat in the car and wept not knowing if this had been a good move. Since then I have moved on and up enjoying my new role. I miss the rush of being on the front line but not having night shifts has health benefits. I did feel before I decided to leave that technicians where becoming forgotten and bearing in mind when we chose that career we could remain at the level we felt most at ease with without being pressured to become paramedics in a given time! I had not had a PDR for about 8 years, my folder of goals had collected dust for that long! I still have not had an exit meeting to this day. I was inform as a technician that to move county from derby station to a notts one I would have to down grade to ECA! In my mind I thought what a waste of my skills if that's the only thing Emas could offer. I needed the move because my mum is nearly 90 so needed to be working near to my home and hers. I now live work near both. I can't to leave this message on a positive note and say without my career in Emas and Nottingham ambulance service I would never gain the experience to do the job I'm now doing. I left with great friends memories and a long service medal and good conduct certificate and I treasure them!! I hope this message helps tweak future plans and that no one feels how I was made to feel when I left. Well done to all involved in the listening in action.

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