Chairman's award winner

This award is singled out from all nominations to recognise an overall winner at the Chairman’s discretion.

Andy joined NEAS in 2000 as a call handler, having spent six years working for BT as an Emergency Operator; after spending eight years as a duty manager within the dispatch team in the Operations Centre, Andy is now leading the team as one of the assistant service managers for dispatch.

The Trust’s team of duty managers are at the heart of managing the Trust’s operational resources and often carry one of the biggest burdens of the ambulance service, working under immense pressure every day.

They are responsible for a team of dispatchers who ensure NEAS has the right staff on the right vehicles in the right places. This often involves making unpopular and difficult decisions in order to make sure patients are safe.

They also oversee welfare checks with operational staff to ensure they are safe on scene and are often the first to speak to a crew after a traumatic or upsetting incident, providing support and arranging further support if required.

Dispatch teams run like a family and the duty manager is at the head of that family. Andy’s nature has earned him respect not just within his own work family but the others around him.

Andy’s manager Lynn Pyburn said: “Andy’s worked in the Operations Centre for 17 years and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in managing the dispatch process and team.

“He is like a father figure to the teams and a mentor to the newer managers. Due to his experience and knowledge, he is the go to person for information and advice, which he offers with enthusiasm and passion.

“He’s been involved in a number of projects and his thoughts and ideas have moved the dispatch process on. The heart of his focus is always the patient.

“I am immensely proud to have Andy in my team and overjoyed to be able to offer him his new promotion which he thoroughly deserves.”

Earlier this year, an opportunity arose for Andy to further develop his skills whilst using his wealth of experience to enrich the call handling process within NEAS, when he temporarily stepped in as a section manager within the call handling team.

He took on his new task with enthusiasm and quickly got to grips with the various challenges presented to him, which he used in conjunction with his own knowledge and expertise to support the team.

His integrity, enthusiasm and effort rubbed off on the whole of the team and he has made a number of positive contributions, including improvements to the way call handlers are coached.

Always calm, fair and level headed, Andy makes the time to learn something about everyone he speaks to in order to make every interaction special.

One person who nominated Andy said: “I thank my lucky stars each and every day that Andy agreed to step in and provide much-needed support for me and my whole team.”

“I doubt whether Andy truly understands the profound impact he has had on our team so I hope this goes some way to ensuring that he knows how much he is appreciated.”

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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