Kyle Peebles, aged 26, swapped life as a plasterer to join NEAS as an apprentice on our patient transport service in April 2015 following a suggestion from his parents that his caring nature would lend itself perfectly to the NHS.
He now works as a clinical care assistant, based in his home town of Gateshead and is training to become a paramedic at the University of Sunderland.
Q. What made you join the ambulance service?
A. I was at a point where I didn't know what to do for a career. My mum and dad both work in the health care sector and said I would be brilliant in a patient facing, front line role after seeing the way I cared for my sister when she had relapsed with her MS and unwell to a point that she couldn't do basic things for herself.
Although working for the ambulance service changed my life, my outlook and perspective of life, I wouldn't have even thought of applying if it wasn't for my mam and dad.
Q. What brings you to work every day?
A. Knowing that I am in a position to make a difference to someone’s life. Although seen as a small thing to most, even just talking to people with reassurance can make a difference as some of the patients we see may not see anyone for a very long time.
Q. What is an average shift like?
A. The average shift can go from 0-100mph in a matter of seconds. You could be heading towards a lower category call then a different job comes through at the highest priority call.
Q. What skills do you think people need to be able to do your job?
A. 80% of the job is knowing how to talk to people. If you can do that you can learn the clinical stuff as you go through your training and throughout your career as medicine is always forever changing.
Q. It can be a traumatic job at times, how do you look after yourself?
A. Keeping your body and mind healthy and balanced is important. I go to the gym five days a week and socialise through playing football every week but I always make time to rest and reflect to continuously improve myself. I just want to be the best I can be for my patients.
After a case that is seen as ‘traumatic’ most of the time a debrief will happen to discuss the case. Afterwards we are followed up individually to see if we need any extra support. This is a crucial part of working for NEAS as we can see many things monthly, sometimes daily for my HART colleagues, that most people don’t see in their whole lifetime.
Q. What has it been like working through the pandemic?
A. When the pandemic first kicked off everything was up in the air, no one knew how to deal with this virus that is still very apparent today. However, myself and my colleagues powered on through for our patients, no matter how exhausting it was. No one could have asked anymore of us as we did everything we could to prevent and care.
Q. Where do you see your career heading?
A. I’m currently halfway through my BSc degree to becoming a paramedic. For sure I will be aiming to be the best I can be.
Q. How do you feel about being part of the BBC Ambulance show?
A. I used to watch the show religiously. I can remember saying ‘just imagine being on this show, how class would it be to do it’ and now It feels pretty surreal being a part of it. Another thing ticked of the bucket list.
Q. What impact do you hope the series will have in the North East?
A. I hope the series will impact the North East by one making people more aware of how hard we work as a service but most of all to prompt people regionally and nationally to check on their neighbour. Loneliness and social deprivation is a huge issue in the region.