12 May 2020

Former airline staff boost 999 capacity

Cabin crew workers who lost their jobs when the airline Flybe went out of business have been recruited to work as call handlers for the Scottish Ambulance Service.

The seven candidates will all work as bank staff to ease the pressure on the Service during the Covid-19 pandemic.

David Robertson, Deputy Director at the Scottish Ambulance Service, said:
 “We are absolutely delighted to welcome these new candidates aboard – they will provide invaluable additional capacity by working specifically as Covid-19 call handlers.
 

“In this particular role – for those ringing 999 with non-life-threatening symptoms – they will be one of the first voices patients hear.  Having worked in a demanding customer-facing role for Flybe, they all have exceptional people skills. They will be ideally suited to this role as they are all skilled at dealing with high-pressured calls from concerned patients.”

All seven candidates have undergone the relevant Police and PVG checks to ensure they can work for SAS and they have undergone a training programme to convert their skills from dealing with customers to dealing with concerned patients.

The candidates will be used on 999 Covid related emergency calls supporting SAS’s Ambulance Control Centres response to the pandemic. They will be dealing with patients whose lives are not immediately at risk, but who are concerned about potential Covid-19 symptoms.

Céline Cres, one of the seven new candidates said she was delighted to be able to use the skills she honed at Flybe to support the Scottish Ambulance Service.

“This is a really tough time for everyone and I am so pleased to be able to support the Service in this way – I was devastated when I lost my job at Flybe so to be able to put the skills I used there to good use in this way is fantastic,” she said.

“It will be a big change, going from working for an airline to this, but many of the skills are similar – in both situations you are often dealing with worried people who want information, reassurance and support.

“In my old job I dealt with situations in-flight that involved helping to calm passengers down; in this job I will be supporting patients who are worried about their health. I love helping people, so I am really looking forward to starting my new role.”

Contact Information

Scottish Ambulance Press Office

scotamb.press@nhs.net