Real-life story - Graham Robinson
Graham has been working in the ambulance service for 25 years- starting out as an ambulance care assistant. He was able to experience a range of roles because of the training opportunites available and now heads up a control room of over 110 staff.
How I got into the role
I started as an ambulance care assistant on non-emergency ambulances. I enjoyed it but I really wanted the 'blue light' work so, after three years, I moved to accident and emergency as an ambulance technician.
I was just about to start training as a paramedic when I was offered as job as control room superintendent/duty officer. It was a huge promotion and I couldn't turn it down.
I was one of a rotating team of six, running the control operation, dealing with all kinds of emergency calls and supervising radio dispatch for vehicles. I loved it. Then, three years later, another opportunity came up. We needed funding for an air ambulance and I was offered the post of general manager in charge of generating income. It was a big challenge but I was able to make a success of it.
Ten years ago I got my present job of control manager - number three in the whole regional ambulance service.
What I do
I head up a control room of over 110 staff. The responsibilities include making sure we have all the resources we need to do the job and that we hit our targets for responding to calls on time.
The best bits and challenges
During my 25 years in the service, I've done a range of different jobs but I've always had the back-up and training I've needed. I've been on courses on all aspects of management and on dealing with the media, as well as specialist subjects such as decontamination and protective equipment and safety at sports and entertainment venues.