Meet some of the ambulance staff and volunteers working this Christmas Day
23 December 2022
While many people will be unwrapping presents and tucking into their turkey dinner, many of our staff and volunteers will be working this Christmas.
With an increasing number of patients needing our help over the festive period, staff and volunteers in A&E Operations, NHS 111 and our non-emergency Patient Transport Service (PTS) will be sacrificing time with their loved ones to help others.
Here we turn the spotlight on some of those working this Christmas Day.
Phil Poskitt, Doncaster-based Specialist Paramedic Critical Care, will be working from 06.30-18.30 covering our Critical Care Desk at Wakefield EOC which identifies additional care needs for our most poorly patients.
He said: “Enhanced Care may just be in the form of a phone call with one of our crews - either as a pre-emptive measure to alert of enhanced care availability prior to arrival on scene, to discuss treatment strategies in complex cases, or as a reactive measure providing the appropriate welfare for my colleagues where needed.
“I always look forward to working alongside the wealth of knowledge, experience and commitment demonstrated by our colleagues in our Emergency Operations Centre, who work so hard in these strenuous times, to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.
Christmas Day for Phil and his family, this year, will be on Boxing Day so they can all spend a full day together.
“With the nature of our work, I absolutely appreciate that this is a necessity and part of our responsibility, and I will give the 25th of December 110%; as I would any other day or night. I have so much respect for all my friends and colleagues that will also be working through the festive period. But I also feel happiness for those that finally have the day off to celebrate, and to spend time with loved ones; or to support and comfort those without. It is so well deserved, and I hope that you make the most of it.”
Wakefield PTS Ambulance Person Daz Collins will be working from 10.00-22.00 on the Dedicated Discharge Service and is hoping to take many patients home from hospital to their families for Christmas.
He said: “I’ll be going on an early dog walk before my shift. Some of my family members are also working at least part of Christmas Day so we will celebrate on Boxing Day instead.
“Not many people really want to work Christmas Day, but it's part of the role and everyone on our Dedicated Discharge Service will work Christmas at some point, so it's only fair that we all take our turn.”
NHS 111 Health Advisor Lindsay Taylor will be working from 06.00-14.30, speaking to patients and assessing their symptoms before determining the most appropriate healthcare service for their needs.
She is looking forward to finishing her shift and heading home for a turkey dinner!
Thornton-le-Dale Community First Responder Peter Dickinson will be on call from Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day.
“I’ll be on call and having a quiet day at home with family but will respond to any call that is received,” he said.
“I’m happy to be on call on Christmas Day, I have never classed this as work or on duty, I like to assist in the local community, giving back something to a patient or a family in need, and offering intervention, or in some instances a social chat, prior to the ambulance arriving. The role is so rewarding, you do not know when or what the next detail could be and with the training we receive, we are ideally positioned to assist on scene until crews arrive.”
Baildon Community First Responder Rob Higgie will go on call at 4pm after his Christmas Day family get-together.
He said: “As for any other day, I want to be available to assist those in my local community if they have an immediate life-threatening incident. I always make a point of giving something back to society on Christmas Day. I also usually book on New Year’s Eve too which can be quite an education!”
Gunn Hickmott is one of the group of Newly Qualified Paramedics who arrived from Australia and New Zealand to work in Yorkshire this year. He will be working out of Leeds Central Ambulance Station from 07.00-17.00 on Christmas Day.
He said: “It will be interesting to see if it is any different to working Christmas Day at home. I assume it’s going to be freezing so expect to see me with all the layers on!
“I shall receive a phone call from the family Christmas morning. Then I plan on spending Boxing Day with some friends, we are doing a shared lunch and a secret Santa. I think I’ve got a pretty good gift too! Back home I usually do a big Christmas breakfast with the family. We all eat ham on toast and wear paper crowns from the Christmas crackers.”
Brooke Melcer, a Newly Qualified Paramedic from Australia, is looking forward to her first UK Christmas. She will be working a 16.00-02.00 shift on Christmas Day out of Manor Mill Ambulance Station.
She said: “I’m interested to see what kind of calls we will get on Christmas Day. I'm looking forward to the shift. I’m enjoying how big Christmas is here; I feel like it feels more festive and more people look forward to it as a community.
“An Australian Christmas is usually spent outside drinking icy cold drinks, swimming at the beach, and having a big Christmas lunch or barbeque. A winter Christmas is definitely different to what I'm used to!”
Brooke will be celebrating Christmas on Boxing Day with her fellow Australian and New Zealand NQPs who started working for YAS earlier this year.
Produced by: Corporate Communications Department