A DEDICATED 999 team who have been saving lives during the pandemic have been nominated for the Tele’s Health Care Heroes Awards.
Staff at Greenock Ambulance Station have gone above and beyond in their care and commitment to patients across Inverclyde.
Jon Paul Gallacher, paramedic team leader, has put forward all the staff at the base for the team award.
There are 46 A&E staff and 22 patient transport employees at the station, working 12 hour day and night shifts.
Jon Paul, who has worked there for 24 years, said: “We are the first point of contact with patients and their families.
“Sadly we deal with death on a daily basis, but we have never seen anything like this.
“I don’t think anyone expected the severity of the virus or how ill certain patients could become over a short period of time.
“You could look at a patient and be sure they had the virus and a couple of days later they tested negative, while you could be convinced that someone else didn’t have the virus but when you checked up the test was positive.
“It was very difficult.
“You could take a patient who wasn’t then unwell home and they took a turn for the worst and have sadly died.”
He says the emergency professionals have had to stay mentally strong to deal with the psychological effects of the tragic toll of the virus.
Jon Paul says the team have dealt with thousands of patients through the pandemic.
He said: “There is no doubt that staff have saved lives, and I would trust every and anyone of them with my own life.
“As a station and as an ambulance service – from the control room to the people who maintain the vehicles – I am really proud that people rallied all together to save lives.
“Staff are still coming in doing their daily duties with all the added pressures of a pandemic and going home to their families, taking the risk home to them.
“I feel this should be recognised.
“There was a peak during the virus and staff were pushed to the limit with the extra PPE and ever-changing clinical guidelines they had to follow.
“Staff had to wear face shields or goggles, respiratory protection equipment and full body protection suits to keep the public safe.
“It was difficult trying to communicate with patients and try to reassure their loved ones who were obviously very distressed.”
The team rose to all the challenges the pandemic threw at them, including extra cleaning measures for vehicles and the constraints of social distancing.
Jon Paul said: “Staff have continued to treat every single patient with the dignity they deserve.”
The deadline for nominations within the ten categories is March 31.
They will then go in front of our judging panel and the winners will be announced at a virtual gala event that will be streamed online on Wednesday April 15.
To nominate visit http://newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/healthandcare/