50 Faces of the London Ambulance Service

As part of our campaign to celebrate 50 years of caring for the capital we are profiling a member of our staff every week.

You can learn more about the range of roles and skills people working for the ambulance service have. Not just our ambulance crews and control room staff but people who provide support to our front line staff.

Fionna Moore

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Fionna Moore joined the Service 18 years ago as Medical Director, and has been Chief Executive for the past year.  

“My current role as Chief Executive is to lead the organisation and ensure we’re delivering the best care possible for London,” she explained.

“While this can often be in a management capacity, it’s also really important for me to try and make this a clinical leadership role so I try and undertake one clinical shift a week, out with our front line staff.

“Not only does this allow me to keep my clinical skills fresh, but it also allows me to get out to see staff so I can hear what their views are.  

“I think the Service has the makings of an absolutely great organisation and that is what inspires me to keep going.”

Speaking of her pride in the Service, Fionna says “It’s the little snapshots I see around the Service that make me proud to be part of it. I was doing a clinical shift yesterday and just watching one our apprentice paramedics walk down a flight of stairs with a four-week-old baby in his arms and thinking he looked so natural.

“Seeing staff looking after patients in what are often challenging circumstances - the tact, the diplomacy and the quality of the clinical care they deliver. Those things make me very proud.”

Andrew Hall

 

Day to day, Andrew Hall is jointly responsible for managing 100 staff, and vehicles across a number of sites for PTS/NETS. He is also the Chairman of the Service Benevolent Fund which this year celebrates 50 years of helping its members who are facing financial and other hardships, providing they meet the set criteria for assistance. 

“Staff welfare is one of the main aspects I deal with, and this attracted me to take on an executive role with the Benevolent Fund,” he said.

“The fund can provides loans to members when they are suffering a financial hardship, this could be due to a number of reason like sickness.

There is also a convalescent lodge in the New Forest which Members can use for a week if they are going through a hard time such as suffering a long illness. I find it rewarding to be able to provide support and help to our staff and their families.”

 

Kulbir has been with the Service for more than four years, having recently joined the Desktop team based at Waterloo.

Day to day, Kulbir handles problems across London that an initial call to the IM&T Service Desk failed to solve.

“I'm enjoying working with the Desktop team – they're nice people to work with and it’s been great going out and meeting the people I am helping,” he explained.

“I've recently changed roles, which is great for my progression but there's still a lot to learn. Thankfully, we have a great manager who makes sure we keep up to date with various training courses to make sure we are up to scratch with technology.

“I do feel like our team are a core part of the organisation and this gives you the drive to ensure you are supporting everyone, including the paramedics on the frontline.”

Alison Oakes

 

 

Emergency Bed Service (EBS) Operations Manager, Alison Oakes has spent all of her working life in the EBS. She began as an Admin Officer in 1989 after leaving university, 10 years before the EBS was taken over by the London Ambulance Service.

“The initial job advert stated it was a job worth getting out of bed for and it’s been exactly that,” said Alison.

“It’s interesting, challenging and there’s always something new to do. No two days are the same.”

The EBS is a 24-hour referral support service that ensures vulnerable patients get the appropriate care beyond or in place of a hospital visit.

“The Service is not just about conveying patients to hospital, it’s about providing the best overall care,” said Alison, who is responsible for the 24 staff within the EBS.

“Looking after the needs of our staff is paramount so that they deliver the best service that’s possible.”

Emergency Operations Centre Watch Manager Graham Seamons

“I like working with my colleagues in the control room, they are extremely dedicated and work well under pressure,” says EOC Watch Manager Graham Seamons, “it’s great to be a part of that team spirit.”

Graham joined the Service 19 years ago as a call handler after seeing an advert in the Evening Standard.

“I thought I’d end up staying a year or two. I am now responsible for service delivery across both control rooms – Bow & HQ. I like that no two days are the same and that I’m helping to manage all the demand across the Trust, dealing with hundreds of calls at the same time instead of one.

“In my first few years I always seemed to be on duty when big events occurred like the Southall and Paddington rail crashes, the Brixton nail bombing and 7/7.

“7/7 will always live with me; I was controlling the sector where the Edgeware Road bomb happened. The number of calls just kept increasing.“

I left at the end of the shift physically and mentally drained but there was also a sense of pride. It’s always in times of adversity that the Service comes together and works closely as a team.”

Shaun Rock 50 Faces

Shaun Rock, our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) supervisor, has played a pivotal role in the planning of Exercise Unified Response over the last four months.

“It’s a wonderful experience,” he says, “Sharing individual qualities and working together with our own teams and other emergency services is great experience and the exercise really shows how much we have to offer.”

Shaun’s time with the Service has opened many doors to him. After qualifying as a paramedic, he took on a secondment with London’s Air Ambulance, and has now found even more opportunities in his role with HART.

“We are an organisation in transition. I think it’s important to treat every day as if it was your first day of service. You gain a lifetime of experience every single day.”

Geoff Long

Geoff joined us over 33 years ago in 1982. Speaking of his time with the Service, he said: “I popped in just to see what the job was like. Where does the time go?”

Geoff has been involved in many high profile events, such as the Queens Golden Jubilee, and has built up a worldwide reputation for his emergency planning skills.

He said, “I’ve seen so many changes over the years and hopefully we can keep on improving from here. I’m proud of the progression we’ve made so far.”

Geoff also mentors new staff, helping them prepare and progress throughout the job. He’s enthusiastic to motivate and inspire new recruits.

“I think it’s important that we remind ourselves of the importance of our work. Sometimes you’re so rushed off your feet that you don’t get to reflect on the impact you’ve made on people’s lives.”

Jacob Carlson

 

 

Jacob Carlson is one of the first international recruits, having joined London Ambulance Service from New Zealand a year ago.

“I really enjoy being here,” he said, “I love how fast-paced things are, how busy it is and how many different people you get to meet and treat across such a big and diverse city.”

“It’s great how you can specialise in the various different teams in the London Ambulance Service, whether it’s the CRU, HART or the Resilience Paramedic role."

He continued, “I’m really glad I came over and for anyone who’s considering coming over I think it’s a great place to build your ability as a paramedic. It’s really busy and you get to see a whole range of patient presentations and different clinical syndromes.

"Many of these are things you wouldn’t come across on a daily basis in New Zealand or Australia.”

Fiona Claridge

 

 

 

“I came into the Service at a great time,” says Stakeholder Communications Manager, Fiona Claridge.

“There’s a number of new operational roles, which allow us to engage with our stakeholders in a more structured and organised way.

“On an average day I can be doing anything from arranging a visit for an MP, responding to parliamentary briefings, attending London Assembly meetings or drafting proactive communications plans.”

Fiona; who has been with the Service for five months; continues, “It’s so important for us to be able to talk to the people and organisations that have an impact on our Service, so that we can share the work we’re doing and the progress we’re making. But it’s an on-going process and not one we could do without support from the various Directors and Stakeholder Engagement Managers across the sectors.

“The responses we get when our stakeholders feel informed and reassured are fantastic; it makes my job feel worthwhile and that’s incredibly rewarding."

Kuda

 

 

"My role was the first in the Service that focussed specifically on to providing mental health expertise for our staff and supporting improved delivery of mental health care to our patients,” says Kuda, who joined us four years ago.

“Now I work with a fantastic team and am responsible for everything from policies and procedures to staff training to ensure that we’re providing the best possible clinical care and support to patients with mental health conditions.”

Kuda is also responsible for one of the Service’s most unique initiatives, placing mental health nurses in our control room to ensure call takers and patients on the end of the phone get the right advice and the appropriate treatment they need.

“It’s probably my biggest achievement since I started. We were the first ambulance service in the country to introduce this way of triaging mental health related calls and now we have five nurses working in our control room to ensure all of our patients are given the best care possible."

Mitchell Hand

 

 

 

 

“Peoples’ reactions to us Australians being here is quite positive, they always seem more interested in talking about Australia than the reason that they’ve called,” says Mitchell Hand, a paramedic at Waterloo Ambulance Station.

Mitchell came over with the first group of Australian paramedics recruited into London Ambulance Service more than a year ago and says he has no regrets at all about the decision.

“My daily role involves going to a range of emergencies, from heart attacks and strokes to car accidents and elderly fallers,” he explains. “I enjoy that you don’t know what call will come next. The staff here are good people to work with and there's always good banter.

“Life over here is very different than it was in Australia, starting with the climate which is almost opposite. London is an awful lot bigger than cities you’d find in Australia and there’s a big diversity in cultures here.

“The experience and progression here at work, the different fields you can work in and the opportunity to travel meant moving over was a no brainer for me. This experience will hopefully open some doors; I have no time limit on when I will leave London - I’ll stay as long as I can.”

Craig Hobbs

 

 

 

 

“There’s no other mechanics job like this,” says Craig Hobbs, a Multi-Skilled Vehicle Technician with six years’ experience with the London Ambulance Service.

“What keeps me motivated is that I know I’m going to come in and help save someone’s life. That’s quite unique to this job.”

Based at Waterloo HQ, Craig carries out servicing, repairs and MOTs on a portion of the 900 frontline vehicles in the Service, with ambulances and other cars being serviced every 12 weeks.

“The job is about getting the vehicles done properly, not just quickly, because they have to go out on blue lights and if something does go wrong, it’s down to you,” he explains.

“That’s a lot of responsibility, and on the new shape ambulances all the blue light stuff is computerised so there’s extra things to take care of.

“I’d recommend this job, if you’re working at a main dealer and you fancied a change, something unique and a challenge I’d say go for it. It’s not your everyday job.”

Chris Doyle

 

 

 

 

 

“I love the variety of my job,” says Chris.

“I’m part of the team that supports the Director of Operations who is responsible for all frontline operations and our two control rooms.

“Each day is different. One day I can be at a project meeting about a major exercise and compiling a report for central government, the next I’ll be part of the planning team for a London event like Notting Hill Carnival or offering support to a member of staff."

Although based at HQ, Chris is also a paramedic and does weekly clinical shifts in both cars and on motorbikes. And as a manager based in central London, he often responds to major incidents.

He said: “I’m incredibly lucky that I get to see our operations from both sides – by supporting the planning and implementation and out on shifts when I’m treating patients.”

Chris is also the operational lead for the communications department. “This can involve taking journalists out on shifts to help them understand how we work or helping the communications team accommodate documentary filming.

“There are two things that make my job so worthwhile,” says Chris, “The people I work alongside and the people we treat.”

Viv Bennett

 

“I go above and beyond for my crews because they would do the same for me,” says Viv Bennett, who has worked as Station Administrator of Deptford Ambulance Station for more than 14 years.

Having previously worked in the private sector and local government as well as gaining degree in law, Viv’s role in LAS involves providing administrative support for the crews at Deptford. Day-to-day this means organising PRFs (Patient Report Forms) and sending them off for archiving, ordering uniforms for crews, sorting out LA420s (accident report forms) and referral forms as well as handling any other issues as they arise.

“I love all of it – even the challenging parts because it all makes up the core of the job,” says Viv.

“This role is something you can put your stamp on. You can leave a legacy behind and what you’ve implemented will carry on long after you’re gone.”

Lucky Eyong

Lucky Eyong is this week’s face of the Service. Lucky has been working with the London Ambulance Service since last year as a legal administrative assistant.

He works in a team of ten people and says he loves working for the LAS due to the varied work he is involved in.

“I feel at home here. I like the legal team because I have a lot of experience in the sector. This role is continuing with my experience and  I love it. It’s a nice place to work and the issues you are dealing with are interesting.”

Originally from Nigeria, Lucky has been in London for ten years. “London is busy, it’s great. I love the culture and the fact that there are people from all over the world here, there is so much energy here. You never get bored.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Achanda has worked for the Service for 13 years, starting her career as a Trainee emergency medical technician before becoming qualified as a paramedic.

She has worked as a Team Leader for the last five years in Camden and is currently seconded to the Kenton training station.

Achanda says “I am proud to work for the Service. I enjoy the variety that the job offers, and also being able to offer support and help to staff as I work alongside them.”

Achanda was also a recipient of last year’s VIP awards for the North West Sector staff group, which she said “was a real honour”.

On Christmas Day, while most people would choose to be anywhere but at work, Achanda and her husband will offering a bit of Christmas cheer to her colleagues. For the last eight years, she and her husband have come in at 6am on Christmas day and cooked a full English breakfast for staff who are working at Camden.

“We cook for the night staff who are going home, and for the staff who are starting their day shift. We thought it would be nice to do something for staff who are working when most people are home with their families.

“It is busy in the Service, and we wanted to bring a little bit of Christmas spirit and create an opportunity to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to each other”.

Louise Jordan

 

 

“I fell into a job with the Service by accident when my Mum, as an existing employee, suggested I apply for the role. It’s now nine years later and I haven’t looked back,” said Louise, who joined the Service as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher in 2006.

Louise’s first role involved taking 999 calls from members of the public and now she’s responsible for communicating vital information from ambulance crews to hospitals before patients arrive.

She said “I pass incident details and patient conditions from ambulance crews on scene to hospitals around London, so that they can be ready for our arrival. You really see the extremes of life in this role – from the traumatic incidents where people are in cardiac arrest through to the heart-warming calls where babies are delivered by crews before they reach the hospital.

“It can be difficult sometimes; we’re only human and there are times that the calls can be upsetting; but overall it’s a fast paced and varied job. I thrive under pressure, so it suits me perfectly.”

Gary Bassett

Gary has worked for the Service for 15 years. His role involves negotiating with other teams and managers to decide on actions that improve patient experience.

Gary said: “There are two things I really love about my job. I find it really satisfying when we improve service delivery in some way that came about from patient feedback.  It also has to be said that there’s never a dull moment!

“One of my proudest moments was the work we lead that brought frequent callers to national attention. It was fantastic to be able to tell the ambulance perspective, which I felt really put us on the map.”

 

 

Kier Maclean

 

Kier has worked for the Service for over 15 years and started working as the Training Stations Manager in June this year.

Kier said “Training Station Manager is a relatively new role, which works to support students who come to London Ambulance to ensure they're able to gain the best possible experience; both efficient and enjoyable.

“I currently look after four training station sites; Bromley, Ilford, Kenton and New Malden. Since I started, we’ve helped with the development and mentoring of approximately 135 emergency ambulance crews and 72 university graduates. The overall experience and feedback from the TEACs has so far been extremely positive.”

He added “In addition I’m part of the team who will be running the Kingston alcohol recovery centre over Christmas period. This follows the success of last year’s centre, where we treated 64 patients and prevented 52 ambulance call outs."

Kevin Bate

 

 

Deputy Director of Operations, Kevin, has worked for the Service since February and has been a qualified paramedic for over 20 years.

Prior to joining the Service, Kevin acted as Director of Operations for the Tasmanian Ambulance Service but returned to the UK and joined us in London for the unique opportunities on offer.

Currently, a key part of Kevin’s role is ensuring the Service has a robust plan for responding to the increasing number of calls this winter.

He said “It’s really important that despite the spike in demand we see every winter, can continue to reach Londoners when they need us most. That’s why I have to work closely with our teams across the Capital to make sure we have the right distribution of resources available.”

He continued: “While it’s always a challenging time of year, I’m proud to be a part of the hardworking team who save lives across London every single day.”

Andre Elbourne-Le Brun

 

 

 

 

Area Controller Andre Elbourne-Le Brun joined ther Service in 1991.

He said: "I worked in the Patient Transport Service control room in New Malden. Back in those days we had a key light phone system, very old school, a bulb would flash beside the button when you had a call come in.

“Everyone says they want to help people in their interview but for me the job’s really interesting. I used to work in a department store in Croydon and it was nowhere near as exciting as working here,” said Andre.

He added: “Things are very different now from when I started. Back in the old days, we spoke to crews verbally and used our initials as a call sign and you would get to recognise people and voices. But now with new technology like Mobile Data Terminals we can dispatch ambulances faster and more efficiently but we don’t speak to ambulance crews as much. But I still recognise voices.

“It’s a unique job and sometime I don’t know how we manage to do it but the best thing about the Service is how we can pull together, work as a team and crack on.”

Andy Beasley

 

Andy has worked for the Service for over 25 years.

He said “Incident management is a really interesting role. As well as attending incidents and offering support to staff while they’re out saving lives, I also work alongside hospitals in the area to ensure we’re working together to provide the best in patient care.

Alongside his role, Andy is part of the Service’s ceremonial unit. Talking about his experience, he said “Alongside the rest of the unit, I’ve represented the Service at many events including the Festival of Remembrance at Royal Albert Hall last year, which was attended by Her Majesty the Queen.

“This year, I was privileged to take the salute – which means leading the unit – at the most recent Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph. “It’s an honour for me and the entire Service to be invited to remember the men and women who have lost their lives in conflict.”

50faces scott mcilwaine Since graduating from the University of Hertfordshire 13 years ago, Scott has worked for London Ambulance Service. He currently leads the Service’s Joint Response Unit (JRU), responding to emergencies around the capital alongside the Metropolitan Police.

Scott said “JRU has been operational for four years now and currently operates in 12 of the 32 London boroughs. Working alongside the police allows us to respond to incidents more quickly and safely which is invaluable when you consider that many of our calls are to alcohol-related assaults.”

“Working with the JRU teams is an amazing job. At times it can be challenging, but it’s so rewarding to see how the Service uses initiatives like this to continue to adapt to the needs of patients.”

 

Jules Lockett

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jules has worked with the service for nearly 15 years. Her role involves the training and development of staff into EOC.

Jules said: “This role allows me a fantastic opportunity to support the development of staff and allow them to provide the best patient care possible.

“My role directly involves scheduling and planning both new entrant courses and development courses. These courses are not just offered for new staff joining our organisation, but as importantly looked at for established staff so they equally have the opportunity to be developed during their career progression.  

“One of the most interesting aspect of my job is that each day, in fact each hour is never the same. The variety of every day allows me to consider all avenues of training opportunities that allows our staff to provide the care that can impact so positively on someone’s experience when dialling 999 and their personal progression within the organisation.

“I spend my day striving to develop new courses and opportunities for staff, including gaining feedback from my EOC colleagues. In the Training Centres I am supported by a team of 5 Tutors that are dedicated to delivering the highest level of training for our staff.

“I am most proud of the people that I work with on a daily basis. They pull together not just when things are difficult, but every single day to make sure they offer the best patient care.”

50 Faces Michael Neilsen

 

 

 

 

Paramedic Michael Nielsen was one of the first Australians that joined the Service as part of our international recruitment campaign. Originally from South West Sydney, he moved to London in January 2015.

“I found out about this scheme from a lecturer at university, who said he couldn’t recommend anything better I could do for my career.”

“One of the biggest draws for me in coming here is the registration. Paramedics aren’t registered in Australia, so working for London Ambulance Service is an official recognition of our skills. As a paramedic here you can provide a referral to another health professional and don’t always have to take people into A&E when there are other pathways available."

Aside from the weather, it took Michael a while to get used to getting around the city and now enjoys the diversity that London offers. “I like how each borough has their own personality. Here you have a whole ecosystem of people in each area with their own culture. There is never a dull moment in London and I enjoy exploring everything it has to offer.”

He looks forward to continuing his career with the London Ambulance Service. “There are a lot of passionate people here which is a great thing and I think the future of paramedicine looks exciting."

50Faces Andy Barrett

 

 

 

 

Andy Barrett began volunteering as an emergency responder for the Service three years ago, after recognising the need for fast emergency responses while doing his day job as a police officer.

Teamed up with a crew mate, during his volunteering shift Andy is dispatched to many emergencies across London in a fast response car.

Andy said “It’s a great feeling to be able to arrive and offer help in someone’s hour of need. As a volunteer responder, you’re constantly seeing the positive impact of your efforts first hand.”

Since then, he had taken on the responsibility of recruiting more emergency responders.

He continued, “Since I started volunteering in 2012, the emergency responder team has grown hugely. Everyone who volunteers takes part in a five day intensive course and then continues to top up their training monthly.

“The programme is incredibly beneficial, to the Service and ultimately to the patients as well. The more calls we can help respond to, the more lives we can save.”

Sam Margetts 50 Faces

 

 

 

Samantha Margetts has worked for the London Ambulance Service since 2006, when she took on her first placement while studying for a Paramedic Science degree. Fast forward to nine years later and Sam is now a senior paramedic, having just finished a secondment with London’s Air Ambulance.

Sam said “I started my secondment in November last year, after a rigorous recruitment process. Working with the air ambulance, no two days are ever the same. It’s an incredibly well-respected role within the Service but it’s definitely challenging, as we’re called out to only the most serious of incidents.”

At any one time, there are two pilots on board with a doctor and a paramedic to provide treatment and on average, the air ambulance will be called to around five major trauma incidents a day.

Speaking of her experience, she added “Joining the air ambulance team is an amazing opportunity for any paramedic. You’re working with some of the best clinicians in the world, providing expert pre-hospital care, and it  gives you the opportunity to really hone your skills.”

Samad Billoo 50 Faces

 

 

 

Since starting with the Service 17 years ago as a call taker, Emergency Medical Dispatch Allocator Samad has worked his way up through Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). He is now one of 60 allocators; co-ordinating the Service’s resources and ensuring the right ambulances get to the right calls.

Samad said “It’s a challenging but rewarding role. As soon as I start for the day, my screen begins to fill up with calls and it’s my job to assess the diagnosis and send the right crew. Every day is different, so although I’m always busy, it feels great to know I’m playing my part in keeping Londoners’ safe.”

Samad’s commitment to the wellbeing of Londoners’ extends outside his primary role. Most recently, alongside colleagues from the EOC, Samad decided to set up a group of Control Room First Responders. This allows emergency medical dispatchers to see the other side of the service, giving them a better understanding of the colleagues they work with and the calls that they dispatch to.

Samad continued “There are so many opportunities for London Ambulance Service staff to get involved in different roles and to develop through training – the sky is the limit.”

50 Faces Amanda Mansfield

 

 

 

Consultant Midwife Amanda has worked for the Service for nine months, but has been a consultant midwife for 14 years in different hospitals and a midwife and nurse for a total of 24 years.

She said: “After I had my son and I was working as a nurse and decided I wanted more of a challenge. I trained as a midwife and haven’t looked back since. I have found the job I was meant to be in.”

Amanda, who is a mother and grandmother, has delivered babies on labour wards, birth centres, and at people’s homes. While she still works shifts as a midwife, her role with the Service is to develop training for ambulance staff and strengthen links with different midwifery services and networks.

She added: “I’m passionate about pre-hospital maternity care - ambulance staff play an extremely important role in looking after women in emergency situations.”

“Every birth is unique and different and I think it’s a real honour and privilege to be able to help women at such an important part of their life. It really is a wonderful opportunity.”

50 Faces DSO David Elliott

 

 

 

 

Incident Response Officer David has worked for the Service for ten years.

Having started in an A&E support role, he progressed through the service to become a paramedic; working with our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and finally took on the role of Incident Response Officer.

David's role is vital to the service, ensuring safe management at incidents that occur across London and providing the first line of support to staff where needed. 

He said “Throughout my time at the service, I’ve been lucky to have taken on many different roles and have worked with many different people.

“While working with HART, I had the chance to take on some unique opportunities to develop my skills in hazardous conditions, such as working at a height, around contaminated sites or in fast flowing water.

“Having been with the Service for a long time, I’m pleased to have worked with some fantastic crew but also to have been managed by some excellent Team Leaders. Their leadership and support skills are something I hope to replicate while acting as an Incident Response Officer.”

Chima Chukwu - 50 faces

 

 

 

Chima joined the Service four years ago as a co-ordinator for the Module J and Apprentice Paramedic programme.  His role involves facilitating the training of thousands of paramedics; ensuring they continually deliver the highest standards of service to patients across London.

Chima said “My role involves co-ordinating course bookings, managing candidate records and building strong relationships with co-workers across departments, as well as external sources, to improve work processes and enhance participant experience.  

“I’m proud to work alongside both senior management and training officers to co-ordinate these programmes.

“I’m also currently chairing the ADAMAS (Association of Diverse and Minority Ambulance Staff) a forum that supports the London Ambulance Service in promoting Equality and Inclusion.

“It’s a privilege to play a part in ensuring that our staff are fully trained and confident in helping a patient when they need our support.”

 

Stephen Salvatore - 50 Faces

Stephen has been a paramedic with the Service since 2006. His role involves him working as part as an ambulance crew or as a fast responder. Stephen has also been a mentor for several years and is currently supporting one of our new Australian recruits to settle into his new role.

Stephen said: “A typical day for me starts early in the morning – as soon as we start we usually get a call to a patient.  On an ambulance I can treat approx. 6 – 8 people in a day and I use my skills to treat and assess if someone needs to go to hospital.

"There are a lot of people that we make a difference for, but the thing that really makes me proud is being there for people when they really need you and providing a reassuring presence in their hour of need.”

Neil Larman- 50 Faces

Neil joined the Service in 1996. During his 19 years here he has undertaken a variety of different roles. Currently, he is working as a Paramedic Tutor based at Kenton Education Centre.

He said: “My core role entails delivering class room education to a range of clinical staff from TEAC1s to DDOs. I am also a venue commander which means that I help to lead our response at events such as Notting Hill Carnival and Pride.

“The most rewarding part of my job is watching people reach their full potential. I like to think I make a small impact on a large number of clinicians and their patients. At an early point in their career I try to instil a value of clinical excellence as a tutor, mentor and operational officer.”

Amanda Butters - 50 Faces

Amanda has worked for the Service for two and a half years. She loves helping patients by providing them with support and reassurance.

She said: “It’s great working together as a team to provide high quality care to our patients.

 “I love my job. I’m so proud to work for the Service. One of my proudest moments was winning a VIP Award; I was so honoured to have been nominated by my colleagues.”

50 Faces - Hannah Bryan Hannah has worked for the Service for 9 ½ years. Throughout her career she has been a paramedic, Clinical Team Leader and project manager. Hannah is also an RAF Reservist in her spare time. She said: “I love my job, as I get to support my colleagues and am now using those skills in project management.

“After I became a paramedic I wanted to use my experience and knowledge in military operations, so joined the RAF Reserves in 2009. As a reservist I can be called to support military operations across the world as part of the medical response team.

“My experience as an RAF Reservist, in particular my service in Afghanistan where I responded as part of the helicopter based Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT),  means that I have gained a lot of knowledge about trauma care which I have been able to bring back home and use within the Service.”

Cathy-Anne Burchett 50 Faces

After 20 years, Watch Manager Cathy-Anne remains amazed at how dedicated her team is to treating people. She said: "My job involves me providing leadership, mentoring and coaching to staff to ensure that they deliver the highest standard of patient care - I am really proud of the staff and how dedicated and motivated they are.

"The thing that I like most about my job is the variety and how every day I could potentially learn or experience a situation I have not dealt before."

Sam Palfreyman Sam Palfreyman joined the service in 1996 as an Emergency Medical Technician in Newham because she wanted an exciting career caring for people. After qualifying as a paramedic and gaining experience in different parts of the Service, she joined the hazardous area response team (HART)

She said: “We specialise in getting to patients in circumstances where other ambulance crews can’t. Sometimes that means climbing to the top of a ten-storey crane or abseiling down a lift shaft. We also have the skills to treat someone in difficulty in the Thames if we need to.

“I’m the only female team leader in HART and I hope this sends the message to other girls and women that there’s nothing stopping them from working in this type of environment."

Ruth Lewis

Ruth Lewis is a public education coordinator and has worked with the Service for 13 years.

She said: “My job means that I coordinate and support staff at over 300 events like, community fairs. Going out to these events is a great opportunity to explain what the Service and our paramedics do. My job also allows me to get lots of feedback from members of the public on how we can improve our service. I am really proud that I am able to meet people in the community because it’s the time we get the most thanks. I often hear people say that our staff are amazing.”

Chris Hartley-Sharpe

Chris Hartley-Sharpe, currently Head of First Responders, has worked for the Service for 29 years.

During that time he has had several different roles including Ambulance Operations Manager for Waterloo and Service Development Officer, which has enabled him to introduce a number of trailblazing initiatives including the telephone advice service. He has also helped develop the Cycle Response Unit and introduce the ‘Booze Bus’ to help reduce pressure on the Service over the Christmas period.

After 29 years Chris said: " I’m passionate about patient care and saving lives.”

Craig Cassidy

Craig is a paramedic based at Poplar ambulance station and responds to emergency calls in a fast response car. On 7 July 2005, he was one of the first responders on scene at Aldgate Tube station when London was attacked.

He said: "We were faced with a devastating scene. I looked around and there were several patients, clearly very seriously injured and some who had passed away. A colleague and I rapidly assessed and began treating them."

"The emergency services did a good job that day and I'm very proud of my colleagues."

Chelsey Pike 50 Faces

Chelsey Pike travels all over the city treating people in critical conditions. She said: “When I was growing up all I wanted to do was be a paramedic because it sounded really interesting. I’ve been a paramedic for almost 10 years now, my job is a challenge but very exciting.

 “I’m currently the only woman part of the advanced paramedic team and I won’t be the last - I’m really proud of that.”

Alec Wilding 50 Faces Alec Said: “My day starts, whether it’s a morning shift or an evening shift, with a briefing on any incidents to be aware of or any difficult cases and then the phone rings off the hook for the next 12 hours. As a team we handle around 1,000 calls a week which means 1,000 ambulances which are free to attend seriously injured patients.

“I get to advise paramedics attending jobs which I normally wouldn’t experience on the road. When I'm working on the HUB I can help deal with problems in ways.”

Susanna Trow

Susanna is a cycle paramedic based at London’s busiest area, the West end.  After six years, she still enjoys being a paramedic and finds being on a bike is a very different way of responding to incidents.

She said: “I knew that I wanted to do a job that was active, outside and more importantly helped people. As a cycle paramedic I work in the west end responding to any emergency calls or minor incidents. I’m usually first on scene proving care before an ambulance crew arrives. After all this time I still find it really rewarding knowing that I’ve helped treat someone.”

Brodie Reeder - 50 Faces

Brodie joined us seven years ago as a call handler, since then he has used his communication and problem solving skills in his current role as call handling supervisor. He said:

“My role involves me looking after a team of 30 call takers. I’m there to assist and support them with any calls that come through to the Service. Being there as a support system for my team means that I can help them deliver the highest level of care to the public – I'm really proud of that."

50 Faces_Richard Webb-Stevens

Richard has been working with us for 16 years now, he said: “I joined as a trainee qualified ambulance technician in November 1998 and qualified as a paramedic in February 2002.

As a motorcycle paramedic I love the variety and spontaneity of my working day, I could be treating someone at a busy tube station or within the comfort of their own home. When I arrive to a patient I can quickly assess and deliver rapid treatment before an ambulance crew arrives.  As a paramedic who is hard of hearing, part of my work also involves teaching basic life support in BSL and showing people how to contact 999 emergency services using emergency SMS.”

Ron Harrison

Ron Harrison is an Emergency Medical Technician who has worked with us for over 22 years. As an emergency medical technician based at Chiswick his role involves him working with a paramedic to help support and assist patients. He said: “Every day I get to use my years of experience and skills to make a difference and I’m really proud that I get to treat people in one of the biggest cities in the world.

A 12 hour shift, as you can imagine, is varied but I really enjoy coming into work – you never know what’s around the corner. It can be hard, but when someone thanks you for helping them it really does make it worthwhile.”

Conal Percy_50 Faces

Conal Percy has been with the Service for over seven years. As the Community Involvement Officer for Bromley he engages with local teams including patient groups, community nurses, police and mental health trust. He said “I represent the Service at Care Home Forums, Urgent Care Boards, Frequent Attender Meetings and Safeguarding Boards. Partners are grateful to have the us at the table and are very interested to hear more about our work.

“The information that we provide is crucial to support change at a local level. I am here to enable frontline staff to give the best patient care they can.”

Barbara McCoy

Barbara McCoy is a call taker who has been with the Service for seven years, taking a range of emergency calls every day.

She said: “As a 999 call taker I can take calls on anything from a broken toe to someone falling 50ft from a crane. I can’t diagnose but I can advise and give information to people to help manage patient’s illnesses. My job also gives me the opportunity to teach people CPR skills that helps save lives. No day is the same I really enjoy speaking to people and love my job here, my colleagues are my family and we go through a lot with each other. It’s like coming home.”

Yasir

Yasir is a paramedic who has worked with us for over two years, attending anything from life threatening illness to minor injuries.

He said: “My job can be challenging but very exciting. Every day I get to use all my skills and training to determine how ill people are and save lives - It’s a great feeling. It’s amazing to see how far we, as paramedics, have come. In 1965 we were just ambulance drivers, now the scope of our education and practice has come a long way. I’m really proud to say that I am able to make a difference to people’s lives."