What it’s like working Christmas Day at GNAAS

While most of us will be opening presents, eating turkey and enjoying a tipple or two on Christmas Day, our critical care team will still be on call ready to respond to those in need.

One person giving up their Christmas Day this year is GNAAS paramedic Gordon Ingram, who is our head of operations – east. We chatted to Gordon to find out what it is like working during the Christmas period.

What shifts are you working over Christmas?

I’m working day shifts on the 23rd, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so it’s a full quota of festivities for myself at work this year! 

Have you worked Christmas Day at GNAAS before?

Yeah, I have worked a few. They are always good days, a little bit more relaxed than normal but still there when needed. 

How do you feel about working Christmas Day?

I don’t mind, as due to being an emergency service providing a level of care throughout the north and Isle of Man that only we can provide, it is imperative that we have our teams available day or night. 

What will you miss the most about Christmas Day?

My boys! This year I am having Christmas Day with my boys on the 22nd and as such we will still have the normal presents, dog walks, and an over indulgence of food! The only difference is we will be heading out to the pub for dinner! 

What is a typical shift like on Christmas Day?

A little more relaxed than normal but the day remains pretty much the same, kit needs checking, aviation and medical briefs and then some tasks will need doing. The only difference will be the added Christmas dinners provided by a local supporter and a film or two. 

Why is it important for our team to work on Christmas Day?

The calls don’t stop! We have doctor, paramedic and pilot teams available on both Helimed 63 at Teesside and Helimed 58 at Penrith. Both available to provide those critical care interventions when needed to increase the chance of a patient’s survival. 

What are you most looking forward to when you finish your shift?

If we finish on time we will be handing over to the night team at 8pm then I will be heading home for a beer as I am fortunately off on Boxing Day.

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