Sarah Hallam standing in front of the Christmas Tree outside Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham
This will not be the first Christmas worked by Newly-Qualified Paramedic Sarah Hallam. In fact, she works most of them as she likes to swap with colleagues who have children, so they can spend the day at home with their family.
The 25-year-old will be spending Christmas Eve into Christmas Day (sometimes referred to as the Santa shift) with the other crews based at Wilford Ambulance Station.
She said: “Christmas to me is just like any other day, which is why I’m happy for my colleagues with children to have the day off.
“I like to think that this will be reciprocated when I have children of my own.
“I’m used to being flexible with when Christmas Day is celebrated because when I was younger, myself, my sister and my mum would go round to my grandad’s house on Boxing Day which we defined as the ‘main event.’
“In the ambulance service it’s not unusual to have lots of mini-Christmases with different close colleagues in the weeks leading up to and after Christmas Day itself, it’s just trying to organise when everyone is free that is the challenge!”
Sarah went on to explain some of the common themes of emergency calls she responds to over the festive period.
She said: “We do seem to see a rise in a number of calls to elderly patients from their concerned relatives. They may not have seen their loved one much through the past 12 months, so when they see how much their health has worsened compared to last time it panics them and they call an ambulance.
“We also tend to get called out to people fainting or passing out due to the sheer volume of food they have eaten throughout the day, and of course there are the drink-related incidents too.
“People are usually more grateful when you attend them on Christmas Day and usually give you gifts as a token of their gratitude.
“One lady gave us a box of her homemade sweets, which was really thoughtful and something I’ll never forget.”
And despite working over Christmas, Sarah will still be getting into the festive spirit.
She added: “I always put a bit of tinsel in my hair and around the ambulance.
“I also have a sparkly elf badge that has my name on it.
“I’ll be taking in cheese and crackers for the station fuddle and my crew mates usually makes us bacon sarnies too.”