High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear David W Bavaird met service manager Jill Scott-Haynes, clinical section manager Yvette Campbell and dispatch manager Jo-Anne Forster and spoke to emergency operations centre staff working over the bank holiday weekend.
Mr Bavaird said: “I wanted, as a representative of Her Majesty the Queen, to come in person to say thank you, to all of the staff who are working for the good of our community on a special weekend and I have been very impressed with the systems and most importantly the positive attitude of all the staff.”
The three EOCs, based in Hebburn, Newcastle and Wynyard, are at the heart of the ambulance service, responsible for answering more than 1.15million NHS 111 and 999 calls and dispatching nearly 400,000 ambulance resources to patients every year.
During the visit, Mr Bavaird had the opportunity to speak to some of the health advisors answering 111 and 999 calls, clinicians providing medical advice to patients and dispatch officers sending ambulance crews to those most in need.
Over the extended bank holiday alone, NEAS is expecting to take around 36,500 calls and attend over 6,700 incidents.
Deputy chief operating officer for the emergency operations centre Chris Dawson said: “As the rest of the region is celebrating, our staff are working hard in our emergency operations centres and on the region’s roads to keep the people of the North East safe.
“It was an honour for Mr Bavaird to visit and for him to see first-hand the hard work which happens in our operations centres all year round.”
As part of the Jubilee celebrations, serving frontline members of the emergency services with five years’ service have been presented with a Platinum Jubilee Medal and all ambulance staff who were in post on the anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne on 6 February are being given a commemorative coin.
NEAS colleagues have also been getting into the spirit of the Jubilee in the run up to this weekend with bake-off events, a Royal-themed photography competition and dress-down days.