A few nights ago one of our riders Jonathan H decided to delve into the unknown and take on his first controller shift, during which he kindly wrote down his experience of his 6 hour stint:
‘As a long time member of Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes, I’ve always been at the far end of the phone, out in all weather delivering/collecting whatever is required by the NHS trusts on the instruction of the controllers who are their first contact for SSBB. That is until today. I thought I would finally step into the controller role, having had a training session sometime back but not yet taken the plunge. Thinking just a 6 hour afternoon shift would be a straight forward way to ease myself into it, I was quite mistaken.
All was quiet for the first few hours then a call to transport some units of blood from Birmingham Blood Bank to Queens Hospital, Burton upon Trent. Off went our East staffs rider no problems. This isn’t too bad I thought. While this rider was still en route, another call came in from Ludlow Maternity, wow now we’re cooking! So that was now our Shropshire day rider out on a call too. Phew, this is a fairly busy way to jump into a new role, but I’m managing OK.
No sooner was the Shropshire rider setting off, but the phone rings again, this time it’s Royal Stoke University Blood Bank asking if we could we take a sample to Speke, Liverpool. Eyes wide-open now, of course we can, not a problem!
Oh boy, have I bitten off more than I can chew? Unfortunately the day shift duty rider was unable to commit to this call due to other commitments that would conflict. So now where to go? Fortunately we have a strong team, lots of information and many willing volunteers, so after a few calls a third rider was dispatched.
So as an initiation into what I believe is the most important role in the charity, I would say I have a good idea of how busy a controllers day/ night can really be. I have even more admiration for the guys and gals that control on a regular basis.
I think my name maybe in the controller tab a little more often.
This particular afternoon is not a daily occurrence, but it is a frequent one. Definitely an experience I won’t forget in a while.’
A massive thank you Jonathan for his brilliant work, he did an amazing job on a busy afternoon. We all hope that Jonathan has paved the way for all our riders to give controller shifts a go.