Qualified lifeguard and gym instructor Jordan worked for Durham County Council in the Education Development service specialising in primary school swimming as well as working in their leisure centres, prior to joining NEAS at the start of the pandemic in April 2020, where he works as one of our communications officers, supporting our frontline crews from within our Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) in Newcastle and Hebburn.
The 27-year-old, of Stanhope, spends as much time as he can with his partner – who is currently in her third year at university doing paramedic science and hopes to join the NEAS family in the future – as well as their friends and family. He says his two nephews can’t wait to see their uncle on TV!
Some of you may recognise Jordan as he carried the Olympic Torch through Langley park in County Durham in 2012, having been chosen for his work within his local community and his voluntary work with St John Ambulance. He still has his torch to this day as a reminder of that time.
Q. What attracted you to the job?
A. I've always wanted to work for the ambulance service as long as I can remember. I used to volunteer with St John Ambulance and always knew the ambulance service was the route I wanted to go down. I initially wanted to work on the road but I found a sudden attraction to dispatch and have really found my feet within the function .
Q. What brings you to work every day?
A. Knowing that although indirectly I am making a difference to people’s lives and also doing my best to ensure that the day to day working of the operational staff on the road is as easy and smooth as possible .
Q. What is an average shift like?
A. In some ways there is no average shift, every shift brings new and unique challengers from either demand or hospital delays or poorly patients requiring multiple resources.
Q. What skills do you think people need to be able to do your job?
A. The ability to focus, a calm and level approach to most tasks, compassion and understanding, a sense of humour and sometimes being able to take things with a pinch of salt (a skill two years in I am still work out). You also need to remain professional at all times because at the end of the day this is people’s lives we are dealing with and what might seem trivial to some is the worst nightmare to others and we need to take this into account, day in day out.
Q. It can be a traumatic job at times, how do you look after yourself and what support do you get?
A. I ensure I try to take my rest days; I have struggled following some jobs I've been involved in but the trust offered me a TRiM which helped me leaps and bounds and the assistance from occupational health and talking therapies have given me food for thought for the next time a traumatic job comes on the stack. In my spare time I like to go to the gym as I feel like this helps me cut away from the stresses of work.
Q. What has it been like working through the pandemic?
A. I joined NEAS two weeks into the pandemic and I it wasn't easy learning new ways of working but it just became one big family effort to ensure we were all doing what we needed to be there for the people of the North East. It was strange when I started because it seemed like no one was calling an ambulance so I've seen the stack change from the smallest of jobs waiting to how we see it today. I always remember the VE Day celebrations and will always see that as the first "busy shift" I've had with NEAS.
Q. Where do you see your career heading?
A. At first I joined the EOC with the intentions of going on the road because of my background with St John, that was what I was used to, but since joining the dispatch function I couldn't leave! I want to work my way through dispatch and eventually become a dispatch officer when the time is right.
Q. How do you feel about being part of the BBC Ambulance show?
A. I feel honoured. Being able to showcase to the public what we actually do has been amazing; often the dispatch team is forgotten and we don't really get the same publicity as others and I can't wait to be able for people to see the impact our small team has on the public as well as how essential it is to ensure that people get where they need to be to give people the care they need. I was very fortunate enough to do the filming with my close friends both on and off the road and I hope this is showcased when the series starts.
It was strange when filming first started, you were very much aware the camera was there. It has been stressful at times keeping up with your day to day tasks as well as doing the bits you needed to do for the BBC but all in all it's been a privilege to be a part of it and I can't wait for it to hit the screens.
Q. What impact do you hope the series will have in the North East?
A. I think it will make people realise exactly what work goes into calling 999 and why sometimes it takes a little longer to get an ambulance to people than it should. I also think it will make people proud of the work we do for the people of the North East.
Q. What do you love about the North East?
A. I think my favourite thing about the North East is the family ethos we have going on, everyone is there for each other. It's also fascinating looking around and seeing our rich heritage is very much still alive in the things you look at, living in County Durham you can see this everywhere you look and no matter where you may go in the county there's always a connection to the North East. No matter what, it'll always be home and you'll always be welcomed back with open arms.