Meet the Dispatchers
Our HEMS Dispatchers are an absolutely vital part of the delivery of our life-saving service. Their role involves screening an average of 1,500 emergency 999 calls by day, and 1,000 by night. They ensure that our crews are sent to the most critically ill and injured patients who will benefit most from the advanced interventions that only our crews can bring directly to the scene.
Alongside call selection, they are responsible for flight following to ensure the safety of our crews and logistical support to aid the identification of suitable landing sites, which is particularly important by night. They also organise transportation for our crews back to base after an incident, which is sometimes required if our Marden based helicopter has gone offline after 8pm.
Our HEMS Dispatchers fulfil a very challenging and important role within the charity, and you can find out more about them below!
Rachel Knight, HEMS Dispatcher
I joined South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) in 2005 as a call taker answering 999 calls from the public. I then worked my way up to become a Senior Resource Dispatcher which, rather than answering calls, involved coordinating the dispatch of ambulance crews. I enjoyed my time at SECAmb and it was an amazing experience to help the public when they needed us. No two days were ever the same.
When I heard about the role of HEMS Dispatcher for the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust, I was really keen to join the team and feel very privileged to have been successful. To be involved in ensuring our crews can give the best possible care to the most seriously injured patients, and to work alongside such a caring and dedicated team of doctors, paramedics and pilots is an amazing honour.
I admire all those who donate and support this charity, and I am looking forward to getting involved in some fundraising.
Ed Lambert, HEMS Dispatcher
I recently joined the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust as a HEMS Dispatcher, following four years with South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb). I fulfilled a variety of roles during this time, my main role being Resource Dispatcher. Prior to this, I spent ten years in a management role in the luxury hotel industry which took me all over the South of England, meeting a diverse collection of people.
Since joining the charity I have witnessed the high level of dedication and enthusiasm from all its staff and volunteers first hand. All who support the charity are truly inspiring, and I am very proud to be a part of it.
Carol Lewis, HEMS Dispatcher
I joined South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) in 2006 as a Resource Dispatcher. During this time I was also a CAD facilitator, ICCS super user and mentor for new call takers and dispatchers. I have also been a Community First Responder in my local town of Faversham for the past five years with SECAmb.
I joined the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust in January 2016 and feel privileged to work with such a professional, dedicated and very friendly team.
In my spare time I enjoy walking, swimming and listening to music but most of all I love spending time with my two beautiful grandchildren, Chloe and Jack.
Amanda Sands, HEMS Dispatcher
Before joining the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance I worked at South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) for seven years as a 999 call taker and Response Desk Co-ordinator, working closely with the organisation’s large group of Volunteer Community First Responders.
I have always had great respect for the work of the charity, and was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to be part of the team. I’m extremely proud of my role within the charity, and feel very privileged to work with such an inspiring group of Doctors, Paramedics and Pilots, who make a real difference, and of course the fundraisers and supporters who make it all possible.
I’ll never fail to be moved when I see the aircraft overhead or hear them prepare to take off, knowing how much their dedicated and professional care will help our region’s most critically injured and sick patients.