Armed Forces Week 2022

20-26 June 2022

The UK Armed Forces defend the UK and its interests. They are busy working around the world, promoting peace, delivering aid, tackling drug smugglers, providing security and fighting terrorism. 

This is a chance to celebrate and recognise out UK Armed Forces community and particularly to champion the men, women and families that make up the Armed Forces community within the NHS and here at NEAS.  

Look out for more about how what we do to support veterans, reservists and those serving now as the week progresses.

Reservists Day - 22 June

Reservists give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces, balancing their civilian life with a military career to ensure that should their country require them, they would be ready to serve.  

We have a number of reservists employed here at North East Ambulance Service, including paramedic Gareth Alderson who is based in Middlesbrough, who shared what it’s like to be a reservist working in our Trust.

Gareth Alderson

He said, “As I near 24 years serving with the Army, I become increasingly aware of how much my employer's support means to me and how it supports the bigger picture of defence.

“One of the common questions I'm asked from my colleagues is, “what do you actually do?" Well, my current post is Clinical Training Warrant Officer with 1st (UK) Division at Imphal Barracks, York. My responsibilities include writing, delivering, and assurance of clinical training to around 2500 Combat Medical Technicians, which include regular and reserve service personnel. 

“This allows us at divisional level to support operations worldwide and ensure our troops receive the best care possible whilst away from home. I am still deployable, always adding to my paramedic skills with enhanced trauma care to ensure I'm clinically current within the MERT environment.

“The support from NEAS is immeasurable in supporting defence worldwide, which is wholly appreciated by the army and wider defence forces. Armed Forces Day is very special to service personnel, and I'd like to extend thanks to you all.”

Working with serviing military staff 

NEAS is sincerely grateful, supportive and proud of employees who are veterans as well as those who continue to serve our country, whilst serving the public in their roles within NEAS.

The skills and experience an Armed Forces medical personnel can often be transferable to an ambulance service in a variety of roles. 

As well as countless ex and current serving military staff and veterans working in roles within NEAS, we also now have current serving military paramedics working within our service to gain experience.   

We also offer placements to military paramedic students and have streamlined our recruitment processes to support veterans applying for roles with NEAS – we’ve welcomed over 30 new colleagues who are veterans in the past 12 months.

We have introduced a number of new initiatives over the last 18 months to honour the commitments we have made to the Armed Forces that we hope to build on in the future.

NEAS signed the Armed Forces Covenant and is a Veterans Aware Organisation with the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Award from the Ministry of Defence, having pledged to treat those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.

A champion for veterans at NEAS, David Horton explains:

“As a Royal Marines veteran, I believe that the behaviours, skills, and knowledge that veterans have developed and embody during their service careers are, and will continue to be, an asset to NEAS across any job role. During my career I have witnessed on a daily basis, tri-service personnel demonstrating their own service core values and standards, and they match those of NEAS. NEAS continues to recognise the contribution and the value that a veteran can add to the organisation. Per Mare, Per Terram.”

David Horton

Working alongside military personnel

Under increasing demand on the NHS in the North East last year a group of 25 military personnel joined us at NEAS to boost to our resources and ensure everyone continued to get the care they need by helping to free up paramedics to be more available to attend patients at potentially life-threatening incidents.  

As part of Armed Forces Day we wanted to once again say an ENORMOUS thank you to those involved who supported our service, colleagues and patients during a difficult time.

It's Armed Forces Day!

We’ve been sharing stories all week about how we support and work in partnership with veterans and colleagues in the Armed Forces. 

The UK Armed Forces defend the UK and its interests. They are busy working around the world, promoting peace, delivering aid, tackling drug smugglers, providing security and fighting terrorism.

Please join us and salute our forces today, our veterans, our reservists, our cadets and all of their families. Share you salutes with us on on social media channels.


Case study - Conor Jones

Conor Jones

As part of Armed Forces Week, we are celebrating our collaboration with military paramedics.  NEAS supports military student paramedics to qualify and achieve their NQP status, building clinical skills and knowledge in a civilian environment before going back to their military postings.  We also support military paramedics, once returned to duty to also maintain their registration doing one shift per week at NEAS with combined support from our service and military command to continue professional development.

 Thirty-year-old newly qualified paramedic, Conor Jones is currently working with NEAS but has served in the Royal Army Medical Corps for nine years. A combat medic providing emergency lifesaving treatment to wounded soldiers on the front line at home and abroad, Conor came to NEAS to complete his preceptorship.

He said, “I think both the military and the ambulance service can really benefit from mutual sharing of knowledge, training and support. 

“There is a growing need for paramedics in the Army and the wider military. As modern-day areas of operations become increasingly more complex, there is never a guarantee of air superiority, so there is a need for medical personal to have the ability to sustain a casualty over longer timelines. Additionally, paramedics are trained to engage with a broad demographic of patients, somewhat different to the military. Paramedics in the military are now more experienced at identifying life threatening medical emergencies and are granted a broader scope of practice to deal with them. 

“I have been given the opportunity while working with NEAS to broaden my clinical knowledge and I've been afforded the time to continue to pursue military courses, in the hope of integrating the unique knowledge and experiences both sides can bring. 

“I have learnt a lot from many people in the NEAS community and fellow paramedics continue to mentor and guide me.” 

Alongside Conor, thirty-one-year-old Matthew Storey has been serving in the Army for almost nine years as a driver and maintenance Instructor and a member of a mainstream medical unit. 

Matthew has been with NEAS for 15 months and prior to becoming a registered paramedic, he was a combat medical technician, providing healthcare to patients with major trauma and supporting his peers. 

As a Corporal and aspiring Sergeant, it was his role to manage that of other service personnel, he took up a number of roles and responsibilities and has been deployed to Canada BATUS multiple times as well as Africa as part of the British response to the Ebola epidemic. 

He said, “Being with NEAS has widened my knowledge of medical conditions, including improvement and confidence in assessing and managing patients. 

“Having more consistent clinical exposure has allowed me to consolidate and develop my knowledge and skills that I can now apply in enhance medical care in both a military and civilian environment.” 

Case study - Phil Delaney

Phil Dalaney

As part of Armed Forces Week we wanted to highlight the opportunities for veterans to develop their careers in NHS organisations like ours, where they can build on their skills and experience in a new environment.

In just two short years since joining NEAS in 2020 during the covid 19 pandemic, veteran Phil Delaney has made quick progress to develop his career at NEAS, in part thanks to his extensive career history, which began in the Armed Forces. 

Phil began his initial role as an ambulance care assistant on the apprenticeship scheme in September that year and recently took up his current role as training officer for the service, clocking up a level 3 qualification in non-emergency care and a level 3 qualification in teaching and education along the way.  

Phil joined the British armed forces in 1997 and despite withdrawing from training due to injury, he eventually served with the REME for twelve years, deployed on operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan, working with elements of 16 air assault brigade, 3 commando brigade and the United Kingdom special forces support group.

During his time, he qualified as a class 1 vehicle mechanic, class 3 combat engineer, skill at arms instructor, CBRN instructor, basic first aid instructor and a ceremonial drill instructor, spending his last year of service working in the regimental training wing.

 Upon leaving the armed forces in 2008 to focus on family life, he took up roles to mentor new engineers and deliver training packages on new techniques and equipment and to support students aged 12 to 16 interested in joining the armed forces in a pupil referral unit, before he applied with us. 

He explains, “My role here at NEAS builds on my previous armed forces knowledge and skills – they have been fully recognised and I’m being supported now by my team to improve my skills and personal development and I’m even looking to complete my level 5 diploma in education and training.”

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