Cricket coach Chris Elliott, from Gateshead, joined our dispatch team in 2007 and now leads the team as a dispatch supervisor, ensuring ambulances are dispatched to patients who need them most as quickly as possible. When the 34-year-old isn’t at work, you’ll find him spending time with his wife and two children or playing golf or cricket.
Q. What attracted you to the job?
A. The chance of a career in the NHS helping people.
Q. What brings you to work every day?
A. Knowing that I am helping the people of the North East every day and have a career to be proud of.
Q. What is an average shift like?
A. Every shift is different but is always busy. My shift consists of overseeing the dispatch function of the control room and speaking to other stakeholders. On a typical shift I could also be doing staff appraisals and one to ones.
Q. What skills do you think people need to be able to do your job?
A. Confidence, team work, good communication skills and the willingness to continue helping people when it is a tough shift.
Q. It can be a traumatic job at times, how do you look after yourself and what support do you get?
A. I deal with things by talking to my manager as well as other colleagues about work when we have a tough shift. I get good support from the Trust for welfare such as Occupational Health and TRIM.
Q. What has it been like working through the pandemic?
A. Working through the pandemic was hard. Not only did we have our normal emergencies to deal with but on top of that all the cases linked to covid.
Q. How do you feel about being part of the BBC Ambulance show?
A. I am really excited about being part of Ambulance. This is a once in a life opportunity where we can show the public what we do and how we help people. It was strange being involved at first, being out of your comfort zone doing something I wasn't used to, but it got easier the longer the recording went on for.
Q. What impact do you hope the series will have in the North East?
A. I hope the series has a positive impact on the people of the North East and gives the public some understanding of how much pressure NEAS and the NHS is under.
Q. What do you love about the North East?
A. The favourite thing about the North East is the passion for sport in the region and the beautiful coastline we have.