Not many people could work with their partner, but for Washington-based Alex and her partner Kyle, it just works.
The pair were based at Gateshead together for the duration of the filming and loving working together again, having previously worked together before Kyle began his paramedic studies.
Originally from Larnaka in Cyprus, Alex was a lifeguard at Waterworld water park in Agia Napa prior to moving to the UK to study paramedic science at university. She joined NEAS on qualifying in 2018.
Q. What attracted you to the job?
A. I went through school thinking I would go into music or drama until I witnessed a critical RTC aged 17. I called my mum, who is a nursing sister, asking her what to do until the ambulance came, and hated feeling useless when someone was critically unwell in front of me. I didn’t know what a paramedic was because the role wasn’t fully introduced in Cyprus until recent years, but after that incident I asked my mum what the name of the job role was and she told me paramedic, so I said that is what I want to do. I applied to university and moved across to the UK to become a paramedic and here I am!
Q. What brings you to work every day?
A. Working alongside some incredible people who make 12 hours fly by and have the same drive to give patients the best possible care with respect and kindness, making a positive impact on people's lives, and putting people at ease on some of the worst days of their lives.
Q. What is an average shift like?
A. It’s different every day.
Q. What skills do you think people need to be able to do your job?
Q. It can be a traumatic job at times, how do you look after yourself and what support do you get?
A. I debrief with colleagues and admit when I need time to process things before going back out after a bad job. Most managers have sat and listened to me talk through jobs or just have a general moan on and given good advice and feedback.
Q. What has it been like working through the pandemic?
A. Difficult. It was very hard to console people who said goodbye to their relatives as we took them away to hospital, knowing they wouldn’t be able to come with them and not knowing if or when they would see them again. I questioned myself every day, never knowing whether it was the right thing taking people to hospital.
Q. Where do you see your career heading?
A. I’m unsure at the moment; I want to progress but I’m currently torn between primary care or emergency care. In the meantime, I want to continue utilising and improving my skills and knowledge in my current role.
Q. How do you feel about being part of the BBC Ambulance show?
A. Really proud! I can’t wait for my family and friends to see me doing my job, I feel like when I talk about work to people who aren’t in the service they never fully understand what I’m going on about.
I wasn’t sure at the start but got into the swing of things after a few shifts. I loved our producers, I’m really glad we’ve met them, they’re amazing compassionate people.
Q. What impact do you hope the series will have in the North East?
A. I hope it will give a realistic view of what we face daily. The general public are mostly supportive but it will be good to show that we are real people with families and lives outside of work.
Q. What do you love about the North East?
A. My favourite thing about the North East is the people, words cannot describe them but there’s no others like them…and also Sam Fender!