Date published: 4 January 2024

In 2022, East Midlands Ambulance Service was accredited by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) and re-accredited with the Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award regarding our work with the armed forces community.  

Throughout 2023 and into 2024, we remain committed to the armed forces agenda. This includes developing our Armed Forces Family staff network, recruiting new staff from service leavers, and meeting members of the armed forces community at major events.

In recent years, EMAS has received significant interest from current and former military personnel interested in joining the ambulance service. EMAS joined the Step Into Health scheme in July 2023. The programme provides a dedicated pathway for service personnel seeking a career in the NHS. Since then, EMAS has received 130 applications from military personnel for various roles across the organisation.

Kevin Thorne, EMAS’ Senior HR Advisor and Armed Forces Lead, explains:

“The armed forces provided integral support to many ambulance services as part of the NHS response to the COVID pandemic. This sparked an interest in many military personnel in pursuing a future career in the ambulance service when their military careers drew to a close. We know that military personnel hold a variety of transferrable skills that are considered absolutely vital to the ambulance service. EMAS recognises the contribution they can offer and actively encourages and supports job applications from service leavers.”

“We guarantee an interview for any current or former member of the armed forces if they meet the essential criteria outlined in the job description. We also support most requests for observation days so that individuals can learn more about specific roles and gain an insight into working with the ambulance service.”

“We also value the contribution and experience of forces families. We offer flexible working to support spouses and partners accompanying service personnel during their posting periods, relocation, or the transition to civilian employment. This is all part of our Armed Forces commitment under the Armed Forces Covenant and Employer Recognition Scheme.”

EMAS met hundreds of service personnel at major regional recruitment events in 2023.

We kicked off the year with the first of two Step Into Health information days, hosted in collaboration with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (held in January and October, respectively). We spoke to 70 service leavers about careers and development opportunities at EMAS and showcased the array of projects and services that enable us to serve the East Midlands community. Step Into Health Information Days are designed specifically for service leavers and military personnel to learnabout the wide range of careers in the NHS. Guests receive tailored advice about how their military skills and experience transfer to the NHS. They can also meet members of the armed forces community working in NHS organisations who have experience transitioning from military life to civilian employment. You can find out about upcoming Information Days on the Step Into Health website.

The largest event we attended was the National Transition Event hosted by Mission Motorsport at Silverstone Circuit in February, attended by around 800 current and former military personnel. We spoke with over 100 people interested in a career in the ambulance service. Of the 50 people who got in touch with us again after the event, many of them have now secured jobs in the ambulance service, whether with EMAS or another service local to them.



Our final armed forces event of 2023 was the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) Recruitment Fair in November, held at the Lincolnshire Showground.  This year’s event attracted 500 guests and 80 recruiting organisations from both the public and private sectors. EMAS partnered with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and other NHS organisations to showcase the range of career opportunities open to individuals leaving the armed services, encompassing clinical and corporate services roles. Two EMAS staff members and former service personnel, Alan Crozier and Michelle Taylor, were on hand to share their experiences of transitioning to a civilian role and finding a career in the ambulance service. They offered advice and reflected on their personal journeys, including the process of aligning their military qualifications with NHS positions and opportunities for advancement in their respective roles. You can find out about the CTP and recruitment events in 2024 on the CTP website.

EMAS will continue its commitment to engaging with and recruiting from the armed forces community in 2024, alongside our commitments to Reservists, Veterans and Cadet Forces Adult Volunteers. We will be attending recruitment events across the region – keep an eye on our social media channels for information.

Find out more

How EMAS works with the Armed Forces.

Find out about joining EMAS and check our current vacancies.


Editor's note
This article was amended on 17 January 2024. The previous version of this article said that EMAS had welcomed 130 new recruits from the military. New data shows that 130 applications had been received from military personnel; the article has been amended to reflect this.