Top national award for “calm and reassuring” call handler

Date: 29 October 2020

Woman holding an award in front of a stand up banner.

A senior call handler with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) has received a prestigious national award for remaining “calm and reassuring” while guiding a caller through a difficult birth.

Nicola Turner, who is based in the Chelmsford Ambulance Operations Centre (AOC), was presented with the Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) of the Year UK 2020 Award during a virtual conference held yesterday (27 October). She was nominated for the accolade after directing the caller through the delivery before continuing to offer advice and reassurance until a crew from EEAST arrived.

Nicholas Jones, Senior AOC Manager with EEAST, said: “On behalf of the Trust, we would like congratulate Nicola on this fantastic achievement. She managed this challenging call amazingly, remained calm and reassuring and gave clear instructions to the caller.

“Every day our emergency call handlers come into work not knowing what situations they will be dealing with. They work tirelessly answering 999 calls and supporting our patients, their friends and relatives. They offer life-saving instructions on everything from CPR and childbirth to bleeding control, all whilst trying to gain as much information as possible for our attending crews.

“The role of the call handler can be one of the most difficult within the Trust. We would like to thank all our amazing call handlers for their dedication. This call is just one example of the exemplary work they carry out every single day.

“Well done Nicola and all our call handlers as we reflect and remember that #HeroesWearHeadsets!”

The EMD of the Year Award is arranged by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch in the USA (where the term EMD incorporates the call handler role). To be nominated for the award, the call hander must be highly compliant with protocol, a good role model for colleagues and have a call which demonstrates their ability to deliver the highest level of care and customer service in a difficult situation.

As well as nominating Nicola for this year’s award, EEAST also nominated Kate Utting, who works in the Norwich AOC.

Beverley Logan, National Accreditation Officer of the Academy, said: “Huge congratulations to Nicola and EEAST on the achievement of EMD of the Year 2020. Thank you so much for nominating Nicola and recognising the work that the EMDs do in ensuring the callers and patients get the help and support they need.”

  • Summary:

    A senior call handler with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) has received a prestigious national award for remaining “calm and reassuring” while guiding a caller through a difficult birth.