Louise Todd

Web Exclusives

This year we celebrated the first combined UK & Ireland NAVIGATOR held in the city of Bristol, England. There was representation from our member agencies in England, Scotland, Wales, the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland along with representatives from the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch®, Priority Dispatch Corp., and Priority Solutions.


ACE and Re-ACE

Christof Chwojka, IAED Board of Accreditation Chair, presented the ACE/Re-ACE awards to National Ambulance Service, Ireland, and Yorkshire Ambulance Service, England. East Midlands Ambulance Service was awarded Re-ACE, but agency representatives were not in attendance.


A tribute was given in remembrance of Matthew Hird, an Emergency Medical Dispatcher and Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Practice Developer from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, who sadly passed away this year on July 31.

Hird joined Yorkshire Ambulance Service in 2002 as a 999 EMD. The EOC was his passion, and he went on to become an EOC Practice Developer in 2011. Hird taught more than 1,000 staff members in his 20-year career. He always felt it was an honor and privilege to be able to train others, and he was incredibly proud of each and every person he taught.

Hird was a familiar face at our UK NAVIGATORs and even had the opportunity to attend a U.S. NAVIGATOR. Hird touched many hearts and will be sorely missed.

Dispatcher of the Year

This year there were unprecedented nominations for the Dispatcher of the Year award. Here are the finalists:

Georgia Hollings, Welsh Ambulance Service

Rebecca Moore, Welsh Ambulance Service

Carolann Corr, Scottish Ambulance Service

Yvette Gillen, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service

Kerry Summers, East of England Ambulance Service

Sophie Millar, South Western Ambulance Service

The winner of the 2022 UK & Ireland Dispatcher of the Year award was Millar.

Sophie is the perfect role model to all aspiring EMDs; with the current demand on the service, having EMDs like Sophie is hugely appreciated and she is a highly valued member of the EOC team. Sophie is calm, professional, and compassionate, whilst being extremely knowledgeable and a leader within our team. Sophie has never missed a shift through absence and throughout that time has been a regular mentor to new staff, covered Lead EMD shifts, offering support and guidance to other EMDs as well as Team Leaders. Sophie’s Cumulative Performance Value has remained high, consistently toward the top of SWAST’s 200 EMDs.

The call Sophie has been nominated for was particularly difficult due to the emotional element as well as the complexity of the scenario. Sophie answered the call from a young child, scared and alone with her mother who was barely conscious. Sophie adapted her tone and pace to reassure the young child whilst also ensuring accurate details were recording, allowing for a prompt response being arranged for the patient. Sophie’s instructions and reassurance were excellent, managing to help control the call and ensure the child caller was able to accurately describe the situation and care for her mother until responders arrived. In what was an emotionally challenging situation, Sophie demonstrated upmost professionalism and has made us proud.” —Nick Dury, EMD-Q® Professional Development Lead, South Western Ambulance Service


There was a wide variety of presentations delivered that were thought-provoking and extremely informative. Topics included the new IAED Radio QA and ED-Q performance standards, ProQA® data, what’s on the horizon for the MPDS®, Life Bridges for mental health initiatives, and AI systems for QA/QI.

Here is a little insight into some of the sessions delivered throughout the two-day UK & Ireland conference.

One of the presentations shared the successes of the ECNS implementation with the Welsh Ambulance Service, which forms part of a study with both nurse and paramedic users. This session provided insight in the overview of the implementation and the early data indicators, as well as the aim of the study, which was to explore the possibility of other health care professionals using the ECNS—namely, the Welsh Ambulance Service CSD paramedics with their existing skills, education, and significant experience. This session also talked about using the ECNS to improve the quality of care and provide a safety net with risk mitigation for those waiting patients and for those who meet the criteria for extended local services.

Another session discussed the MTPS Protocols utilized in the Scottish Ambulance Service, particularly Protocol 45 and Protocol 46. In 2016, the Scottish Ambulance Service introduced a new clinical response model, and in 2018 they embarked on their second journey to introduce the MTPS Protocols. Protocol 45 helps them to recognize the sickest patients received from external Health Care Professionals, and Protocol 46 has safely enabled the Scottish Ambulance Service to transport over 30,000 patients by their non-clinical colleagues, which frees up capacity in the vital clinical element.  

Chwojka’s presentation, I Love my Company—10 Steps to Form a Successful Team, explored the secret of a successful emergency call center, providing practical examples and tips for implementation.

We also heard about human behaviors in emergencies and discussed the patterns of human behavior, how we can better understand why people do the wrong things in an emergency, and how one misguided person can cause a tragedy by believing they acted correctly.

While it’s thought that a tragedy of that magnitude will never happen, it did, providing insight into the total loss of all emergency dispatch center functions, CAD, telephone system, internet, and power, as well as the learned experiences from this event.

The causes and effects of Moral Injury in the Dispatch Environment explored what moral injury is and how prevalent it is in the dispatch center. EMDs have the potential to be exposed to traumatic events in which their morals or values could be violated. The session focused on the causes and effects of moral injury, paying particular attention to the importance of supportive leadership.

The final session of the conference was a presentation exploring challenging interviews, focusing on how stressful and pressurized they can be and providing tips and tricks you need for a successful interview.

A huge thank you to all the presenters. Remember to submit your session ideas for next year’s UK & Ireland NAVIGATOR.