Health advisor Phil, of Sunderland, was an assistant restaurant manager for McDonalds for four years before joining us in 2018 at our Emergency Operations Centre in Hebburn. Phil is married with three girls and, as a Sunderland fan and season ticket holder, says he refused to talk about Newcastle all the way through filming.
Q. What attracted you to the job?
A. I liked the ability to help people and challenge myself every day.
Q. What brings you to work every day?
A. My colleagues bring me to work every day – we are extremely tight knit and support each other through anything without the need to ask.
Q. What is an average shift like?
A. The average shift is mentally tiring, long, rewarding, emotional, and wacky – no two days have ever been the same.
Q. What skills do you think people need to be able to do your job?
A. Being calm, listening, being able to get the right information in stressful times, and able to concentrate 100% on the person you’re speaking to.
Q. What has it been like working through the pandemic?
A. The pandemic was awful. Demand went through the roof and every day was a lot harder than it ever had been before. The face-to-face contact with colleagues was missing as hugs and taking lunch together was banned. It was exceedingly difficult.
Q. How do you feel about being part of the BBC Ambulance show?
A. I feel nervous and scared and a little embarrassed to be on TV – probably due to not knowing what of the filming will be shown – but very excited at the same time. It was unusual to be filmed, I could feel the camera and boom mic hovering over me at times which is something I never experienced before, but the crew were lovely and making the show with them was a joy.
Q. What impact do you hope the series will have in the North East?
A. I hope it shows the hard work my colleagues do every day and I hope it leads to a greater appreciation and attitude from callers in future.
Q. What do you love about the North East?
A. The best part of the North East is Sunderland!