Rich praise for ambulance staff in Gainsborough and the rest of the county during one of the busiest times of the year has been dished out by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Mr Corbyn was full of support for paramedics and call-centre workers during a special visit to the Lincolnshire headquarters of the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) at Lincoln to find about life on the 999 frontline.
David Williams, EMAS’s general manager for the county, said: “The visit started with a conversation about the pressures we have been experiencing over recent months. Jeremy was very complimentary and supportive of the way we have approached this incredibly busy time. He thanked all the staff for their dedication and hard work.”
Mr Corbyn was accompanied by Karen Lee, Labour MP for Lincoln, who recently spent time on the road with one of EMAS’s ambulance crews to observe, first hand, how paramedics care for patients. She herself is a former nurse at Lincoln County Hospital.
“She was very impressed with their professionailsm, and wanted to invite Jeremy to experience for himself the great work that the whole team is doing at EMAS,” said Richard Hunter, the service’s paramedic and ambulance operations manager. “We are delighted that he accepted the offer, and it was a pleasure to welcome him.”
Mr Corbyn and Ms Lee met Andy Henderson, a paramedic at Lincoln Ambulance Station, and heard about his experiences responding to emergency 999 calls from people across the county, including Gainsborough.
They also visited EMAS’s emergency operations centre where 999 calls are received and responded to. They spoke to workers there and heard that, on average, a new call is taken every 34 seconds.
The duo observed a training session for emergency medical dispatchers too, discovering how vital the service offered by the control centre can be.
Training on the day was focusing on 999 calls relating to women in childbirth. By the end of the week, those on the course would have completed their training and would be ready to start a new career in the centre, so Mr Corbyn took the opportunity to wish them all the best.
Mr Williams said: “Jeremy was very complimentary about what he had seen and heard on his visit. He said it had been an absolute pleasure to spend time with a team that was so dedicated to their work and who created such a positive atmosphere.
“The morning gave us an opportunity to be proud about what we do. My thanks to Jeremy and Karen for taking time out of their busy schedules.”