Delivering a baby over the telephone isn’t a responsibility most people would have to face during a regular day at work.
But for staff at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) emergency operations centre in Wakefield, that’s exactly the kind of situation that comes with the territory – as one employee found out yesterday.
Sam Taylor had to use all of her know-how when an expectant mum suddenly went into labour in Leeds.
But the experienced call handler rose to the task and within minutes the baby boy had arrived safe and sound
The incident was reported on the YAS Twitter account as part of a 24-hour campaign to publicise the work of the service.
Steve Hatton, clinical duty manager at the emergency operations centre, said: “The job can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, but it’s rewarding when there’s a good outcome like that.”
YAS has about 65 staff on-duty at any one time at its call centres in Wakefield and York and deals with about 2,000 999 calls a day, of which about ten per cent are life-threatening situations.
Another 60 per cent require an ambulance, but the remainder are dealt with by the team of handlers, with back-up from paramedics and nurses who are on site.
Mr Hatton, who has been with the ambulance service for 16 years, said call volumes were expected to increase over the bank holiday weekend. He added: “We want people to enjoy themselves, but also to think about their own welfare and look after themselves.
“They should also think carefully about which service they access as there is a variety of 24/7 health care providers like late-night pharmacies and out of hours GPs.”
Among the other incidents YAS tweeted about yesterday was a fall at Brimham Rocks near Pateley Bridge, someone who had come off a horse in Knottingley and a man who had injured himself with a power tool.
David Macklin, executive director of operations, said: “We hope people will see how busy we are and consider using other healthcare providers in the community for less serious illnesses or injuries.”