Thank you to our staff and volunteers working on Christmas Day

22 December 2023

Everyone at Yorkshire Ambulance Service would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year

Thank you to all our staff and volunteers who are working over the festive period to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care and for the sacrifices they will be making.

Here's a spotlight on just a handful of the staff and volunteers who will be working on Christmas Day.

999 Call Handler Joe will be spending the morning with his two-year-old daughter, opening presents with her and family before starting his shift at 10.00.

“I’m sad to not be at home all day but grateful to have the morning with loved ones and exchange presents. This is my fourth time working Christmas Day in the five years I have been with YAS and the day itself always feels quite relaxed with genuine calls. I know I make a difference and that's why I do the job I do.”

999 Call Handler Joe

PTS Communications Schedular Safeena

Patient Transport Service (PTS) Communications Schedular Safeena will be working a 6am-6pm shift in the PTS control room, scheduling patient transport requests to ambulance resources on the day of travel.

“I don't mind working on Christmas Day; it gives my work colleagues chance to celebrate Christmas with their family and friends. I have worked Christmas Day before, it can be very busy with patients being discharged from hospitals.”

Community First Responder Lynne Speight has volunteered on Christmas Day every year since 2011. She plans to be available to respond to emergencies in her local community for around 11 hours.

“I get up, have breakfast and book on call at about 10am. I live alone and my siblings are scattered across the UK and abroad so I don't have plans for any Christmas Day celebrations as such.  I tend to meet up with family members in the New Year. Volunteering on Christmas Day can either be a happy or poignant experience. Often you are surrounded by large family gatherings, all too aware that any adverse event will be remembered by family more vividly because of the date which is meant to be the happiest of days.”

Community First Responder Lynne

Operational Service Manager Ste

Ste, Operational Service Manager, will be working in NHS 111 on Christmas Day.

“How do I feel about working Christmas? Before I started working for YAS my answer would have been very different. But now I honestly don’t mind it, I plan around my shifts and see family where I can. The people I work with are like family to me anyway. We make the day as special as we can whilst we help people that really need us, which is what the day is all about.”

Our YAS Charity is supporting our staff and volunteers working on Christmas Day by providing them with welfare packages. Communications Assistant Lewis is helping the charity by visiting our Emergency Operations Centre in Wakefield to make sure staff are fed and watered while they take 999 calls, dispatch ambulances and provide clinical support.

“As both my parents are working at Yorkshire Ambulance Service on Christmas Day, I am more than happy to give my time and support in the Emergency Operations Centre. Coming in means that a staff member with children can stay at home and enjoy the day with their family, and it allows me to soften the blow of having to work for those who are in!

“Having drawn the short straw and worked every Christmas since 2018, I’ve almost forgotten what a regular Christmas Day looks like! Not that I don’t enjoy it, the team in the Emergency Operations Centre work to make the most of the day – and there’s always good food. I expect I will continue working Christmas Day for as long as I’m with the service.”

Communications Assistant Lewis

Ambulance Support Worker David

David, Ambulance Support Worker, will be working three 19.00-07.00 night shifts, from Christmas Eve to after Boxing Day.

“We decided to have Christmas early with extended family last weekend, knowing we can exchange presents on Christmas morning before I go to bed!

“Being new I expected to be working, it's part of the shift pattern role. I'll make the best of the seasonal spirit with colleagues, and it'll be nice spending time with patients that don't have others to share the day. I haven't worked a Christmas with Yorkshire Ambulance Service, but have missed plenty in the past. You make the best of the day with who you're with, generally strangers who are appreciative that some people must be at work.”

Stephen, Associate Ambulance Practitioner, is working a day shift as part of an ambulance crew on Christmas Day.

“I have worked many Christmas Day shifts over the last 15 years, and they can be both challenging and emotive, however also very rewarding. I’ll be taking in a Christmas dinner to have on my meal break, so I won’t be fully missing out!

“Working at Christmas is always a little harder for me because I don’t live near my family, so it makes it difficult to spend time with them, especially my nieces and nephews who are still young and really love the magic of Christmas.”

Associate Ambulance Practitioner Stephen

Produced by: Corporate Communications Department