EOC blog: A look at the duty EOC officer role
Chris Barnes talks about the role of the Duty EOC Officer within the control room.
Hi, I’m Chris Barnes, a Duty EOC officer in Norwich EOC. I've been been with the ambulance service for almost nine years now.
My background before joining the service was in recruitment and supply chain management in the publishing industry, where I had the pleasure of meeting some famous people! However I was looking for a change and wanting to do something that would made a difference rather than turn a profit. Having suffered with a heart condition myself and having been cared for by the NHS, I felt this would be ideal for me and a good way to give back.
My role as duty EOC officer is basically all about supporting my team so they can deliver the best care possible to our patients. They are amazing at what they do and they work extremely hard. The workload can be relentless at times yet they just muster on regardless. The EOC is the hub of everything, so it’s a privilege to oversee the process to ensure we’re delivering care to our service users.
We only have a limited number of resources to help those who really need us, so it’s frustrating if people abuse our service. Our staff do the best they can, but just last week I dealt with calls where our staff were subjected to violence from patients. It’s disappointing and unacceptable behaviour, when all we are doing is trying to help.
I’ve seen quite a few distressing calls in my time, I guess some stick with you more than others. I guess that’s why I think everyone should be wise about calling for an ambulance.
What I like most about working in the EOC, and the ambulance service is the team work. From call handling to dispatch, to the staff on the front line (including our CFR colleagues), when a serious job comes in, it’s brilliant to see how everyone gels, and thats something I get to witness a lot doing what I do.