We use cookies to track user visits on this website but all data collected is anonymous and is used only for the purpose of improving the site. By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies. You will only see this message once.

Find out more
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust Header Banner

Emma Scott

Community Defibrillation Officer

Emma Scott Community Defibrillation Officer

Emma Scott is a community defibrillation officer. That means that she manages a team which recruits and trains volunteers from across South Yorkshire, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield in life-saving skills as part of Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s Community First Responder (CFR) scheme as well as advising sites and communities wishing to purchase Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

She’s someone who exudes energy, enthusiasm and pride in the ambulance service. “I love working here”, she says. “I’m proud of our volunteers and what they give to our service. I’m proud to represent Yorkshire Ambulance Service. I love the variety and challenge. It’s different every day.”

Believe it or not Emma started out studying modern history at Oxford University. So how did that lead her to a career with the ambulance service? “I wanted to be a teacher”, Emma explains. “I started studying for my teaching qualification but then I became unwell. I didn’t finish the course and moved back home.

“When I got better I had to work out what to do next. I got two weeks’ temporary work as the receptionist at the then South Yorkshire Ambulance Service HQ reception. From there I ended up staying on and taking on all sorts of other stuff. I coordinated some of the non-clinical training for staff. I studied for my basic teaching qualifications, and then eventually, for the PGCE that I’d originally wanted to achieve.

“Yes, I’ve been lucky that Yorkshire Ambulance Service has given me so much opportunity for development. But I’d say to anyone else, no-one is going to give you development if you sit back and wait for it. Go do it! Put your heart into it!”

When, nine years ago, the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) funding for community defibrillation officers opened up in South Yorkshire, Emma’s managers saw her potential and put her name forward. They actually lobbied the BHF on her behalf to open up the process to non-clinicians.

“Working in the health services you can sometimes feel inferior as a non-clinician”, Emma says. “I greatly respect the skills of our clinicians, but I don’t think other people should be scared of them or underestimate their own potential.

“I have no more clinical skills than the CFRs I train. But I bring to my team my management, organisational and communications skills. We all have different strengths and interests.”

YAS continued to fund the CDO role when the BHF project ended and Emma now manages four staff members, over 250 volunteers and around 900 static defibrillator sites across her patch.

At 33 Emma is young – some say she looks younger. “Occasionally I do feel that people are not taking me seriously,” she says. “But I always try to focus on what I can offer and not to get intimidated.”

In 2014 Emma was honoured at the Rotherham Athena Awards, which recognise women’s achievements in the borough.

So what is her advice to others? “Don’t feel inferior. Everything you have done is valuable. Look at your skills and see what is transferrable – what can you offer that others might not have? Respect the experiences that everyone brings from their varied backgrounds and always try your best with everything you do.”