Meet some of our Emergency Responders
We currently have nearly 150 volunteers in our Emergency Responder team.
Volunteers come from all walks of life – from teachers to solicitors and pilots to dentists!
We have volunteers with military backgrounds, police officers, firefighters, London Ambulance Service staff – including people who work in our control room team but also corporate and support staff, nurses, medical students and physiotherapists
Other professions include people who work within the NHS in managerial roles, teachers, radiologists and business owners.
There are also airline pilots, people from the legal and finance industries, scientists, pharmacists, dentists, energy consultants and people who have retired. There’s a big variety in the backgrounds of our volunteers!
Mina is a Tax Partner working in a professional services firm. She joined the scheme three years ago.
In 2010, Mina took a career break to explore life outside of work. It was meant to be for six months but she enjoyed it so much that it became nearly three years!
During her career break, she stumbled across a first aid course run by St John Ambulance. She began to volunteer with St John Ambulance providing first aid cover in events such as football matches, Hyde Park concerts and Notting Hill Carnival.
Through that experience, she says she got hooked on pre-hospital care and decided to become an Emergency Responder.
Mina is back at work full time but continues to volunteer for both St John Ambulance and our Service as an ER as she is passionate about ‘paying it forward’.
“It’s rewarding to be able to help others and make a difference to our community. I like the variety of our shifts as no two patients are the same. It’s also great to be part of a team of exceptional people, whose purpose in life is to serve. I’ve learned so much from both fellow volunteers and full-time ambulance crews.”
James has been an Emergency Responder since September 2019. He is a medical student and is also a professional karate teacher!
His favourite thing about the ER scheme is when he and his crewmate arrive first at an incident and can make a real difference – even if this is just reassuring the patient or their family which he finds rewarding.
“I’d always been interested in pre-hospital medicine and wanted an opportunity to gain some hands-on experience whilst also volunteering for what is a worthwhile cause.”
Jai, a medical student, has been an Emergency Responder since September 2019.
Jai has always had a particular interest in emergency medicine and has been very keen to be out in the community, providing care to those who need it. So, for him, joining the scheme seemed like a no-brainer!
“I feel incredibly privileged to be able to provide care and support – be it emotional or physical – to the people of London.”
Ian runs his own software company and joined the scheme in 2013.
“Being an Emergency Responder and the things we see and do is dramatically different from the day job but extremely rewarding and great fun.
“In fact, the diversity of the ER volunteers is one of the scheme’s greatest strengths, with each ER bringing with them different experiences, backgrounds and life skills.
“The one thing that, without exception, all the volunteers have in common is that we simply love what we do.
“The Emergency Responders scheme is incredible and as volunteers, we are trained by regular London Ambulance Service staff and have an excellent working relationship with them whilst on shift.
“As Emergency Responders we do make a difference and we do save lives.”
Lillie joined the Emergency Responder scheme three years ago and has been a Team Leader for two years. Her ‘day job’ is with NHS England, working on urgent and emergency care transformation and performance improvement – and she sees being an ER as a great way of keeping the patient and clinician experience at the front of her mind.
Lillie began her volunteering journey with St John Ambulance as a teenager. Through this and volunteering at events like Notting Hill Carnival and New Year’s Eve she met London Ambulance Service staff and found them to be very friendly, knowledgeable – with interesting stories about their work.
This – and shadowing a London’s Air Ambulance trauma car shift – inspired her to apply to become an ER.
“I like the feeling you get from helping people and supporting the NHS. I also enjoy the social aspect, meeting all sorts of people in their homes and being able to help ease their pain or even just have a chat about how they’re feeling.
“There’s also a strong sense of community across ER volunteers; we all have different backgrounds but a very common sense of purpose, and you get to know people very well after 12 hours in a car together!
“If you ever see me or any of the fellow ERs out and about, then do come and say hello, we always appreciate it!”
Saman has been an Emergency Responder since September 2019. In that time, he has logged just over 1,500 hours on shift with Team LAS, which includes 350 hours on dual crewed ambulances (DCAs) during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saman, a medical student in his fourth year of university, says being a student affords him a little more flexibility – and he says the scheme and his studies complement one another.
“I wanted to be an ER from the positive experiences I had heard about the scheme from others. I am interested in Emergency Medicine and prehospital care, and this scheme gives me an opportunity to develop my skills whilst helping patients and giving back to the community.
“Volunteering doesn’t feel like ‘work’ – it’s more like a day out with a friend, and so I love spending as much free time as I can responding. It’s great to do something that you enjoy which also benefits others and this makes it very easy for us all to find time for the scheme.
“I’ve made lots of friends through the ER scheme and working a shift together is always enjoyable.
“I also love getting to know the regular LAS crews – from Ilford to Isleworth, and Barnet to Bromley, we have cars based across London and it’s great to work with such a range of crews and get to know them. It’s also great to explore London, as well as treat patients of all ages and backgrounds. There’s always something you can do to help someone, whether they need a lifesaving intervention or just a cup of tea and a chat.”
Tyler works as a Project Manager on large infrastructure projects and has been an ER for seven years. He is also the ER scheme’s Deputy Fleet Manager, making sure our vehicles are adequately serviced and that faults are rectified as quickly as possible so that the time they’re ‘off the road’ is minimalised. He is also leading on a project to provide the scheme with a new fleet for vehicles in the future.
“Volunteering has always been something I enjoy doing. I am involved in a few charities and giving my time back to my community is really important and gives me a great sense of positive wellbeing. My base station is Hillingdon, in North West London. This allows me to provide cover in the area to which I live, enabling me to give back to my community.
“To someone thinking of joining I’d say make sure you are prepared for what you may be facing. Volunteering is great for you, however remembering that we are here for patients.”