Have you ever wondered what a ‘normal day’ looks like for the crew at the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS)? We asked paramedic Lee Salmon to let us in on the details of day shift…
So Lee, talk us through your shift:
05:45 If I am working day shift, my alarm will go off at this time.
05:50 Time for a shower, get dressed and organise my lunch for the day. I then hit the road for my journey to work.
07:20 This is the time I would usually arrive at Teesside International Airport.
07:25 Collect blood and plasma that we may need for the day from the drop off point.
07:30 Greet the pilot on base, switch the coffee machine on, change clothes to uniform.
07:35 Start checking equipment, with a challenge and response checklist and check off the daily documents.
07:55 Load the aircraft and rapid response vehicle with the relevant equipment we will need for the day ahead.
08:00 Aircraft will now go online and we move on to daily tasks. At this time, we also start monitoring the 999 emergency feed for the whole of the north of England, from Barrow to Middlesbrough, from Bamburgh to Lancaster. It’s a huge area!
08:05 Email all relevant emergency control rooms, followed up with a call to say ‘hi’… It’s nice to be nice!
08:10 It is now time for an aviation brief for the day, discussing aviation threats, weather, aircraft performance and crew configuration.
08:20 Medical brief for the day – sometimes not so brief – discussing relevant information, handover notes, equipment and clinical updates. We also review our internal events log, highlighting anything that we want to improve on and any learning points.
08:50 Clinical training updates and reviews.
09:00 Breakfast! Ideally porridge though more often than not – unhealthy meaty goods, wrapped in bread!
09:30 -20:00 Operational duties including cleaning the loos, restocking equipment, hoovering, washing aircraft, etc. At any point we may be called into action. On average, we respond to four and a half call-outs every day, and some days we don’t get chance to sit down, but you never know how it’s going to go.
In addition to the above- squeezing in a clinical training moulage, often run by another paramedic or doctor. We create, practice and critique each team member, building a comprehensive log of training for peer review and continuing professional development.
20:00 Put everything away, re-change, shower then set off home.
22:00 Arrive at home, hug my wife, tell her about my day and ask about hers, then generally I chill out for 30 mins or straight off to bed (sneaking in to kiss my daughters goodnight on my way).
Now that, is what we would call a job well done. A bit different to our average day, right?