I was born in 1977 in a remarkably boring suburb of London. When I was a child, I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up. I went off this idea as a teenager as it looked too much like hard work. I wasn’t great at school. I was bright but more interested in beer and indie music than schoolwork. I also got in trouble for carrying my diary around with me and writing in it during lessons.

In the end I did a degree or three in Psychology, which got me precisely nowhere.

In 2004, inspired by the Christmas episode of Casualty, I successfully applied to become an Emergency Medical Dispatcher for the London Ambulance Service. I started this blog a year later, partly inspired by Tom Reynolds’ brilliant Random Acts of Reality and partly by that diary I got in trouble for writing at school. Finally I had something interesting to put in a diary!

In January 2009 I was promoted to Allocator. I accepted a book deal from Penguin the same week. All in all, it wasn’t a bad week.

I live alone in a glamorous rooftop apartment in Darkest Walthamstow. I love Leyton Orient, the goth scene and Jack Russell terriers. My ideal man is Alan Smith (until he opens his mouth). I hate prawns, people who can’t spell and films. My ambitions are to visit Australia, get down to a size 10 and pass my driving test. They were to get promoted and get a book published but I’ve already done those.

Ten random facts about me:

1) I wore a wig to my initial interview with the LAS because I had pink hair at the time.
2) I’m a big fan of the glamour model Jordan.
3) I am an only child.
4) I hate tea and coffee. And coriander.
5) I was once asked out by the royal butler responsible for walking the Queen’s corgis. I still kick myself for saying no.
6) My previous jobs have included being a school dinner lady, naked life modelling for art classes and knocking on people’s doors asking them stupid questions about washing powder.
7) I went to art college. For six weeks. I hated it.
8) I hate being cold so I carry a hot water bottle around at work with me and keep my flat at 25C.
9) I wore green uniform at junior school and senior school and now I wear it to work.
10) I’m writing a novel about an ambulance control room and the main character is called Mark Myers – the pseudonym I used for this blog for four years.

Published Nov 12, 2006 - 14 Comments and counting

14 Comments on “About The Author”
  1. kraftymiles Says:

    Now that would explain a lot.

  2. Y'know who i am Says:

    Do LAS allow you freedom to write what you want here? I can see the whole of the EMDC hierarchy in Edinburgh doing cartwheels if someone tried doing a similar blog from there….now there's a plan lol

  3. annonymous Says:

    Hey, Read your article ref LHR course. I thought you looked the least bit interested and was only going along with the flow…. How wrong was I then, great article keep up the great work, ( they say it is the quiet ones you have to watch.

  4. Suzi Brent Says:

    I was probably too busy mentally composing the blog post to say much! Also I'd just got back from holiday so was knackered, so you may have mistaken Tired Yawns for Bored Yawns.

  5. Guest Says:

    Hi Suzi
    Found your blog when checking the spelling of "vomitting" on google (v.sad!). Was reading my senior GP partner's notes on a patient – thought "sure that's not right" – it isn't!

    It's NOT just the ambulance service – there's a GP in the Midlands who persists in sending patients to a "Councellor" despite my piss-taking!

    And all his hypertensive patients get either "Amlodipene" or "Nifedipene" (sic). Also when teking a dietary history he comes across a lot of "Vedgetarians".

    Keep up the good work!

    Geoff Nic. Thrapston

  6. George Potter Says:

    Hi Suzi
    I found Nee Naw when looking for information about dialling 999 or 112. I just wanted to say that your site is great, and to wish you all the best for achieving the next items on your list of ambitions.
    Best regards

  7. Winnie Law Says:

    Hiya, I've been working for the West EMDC in Scotland since March 2009, loving your website!

    I went for my interview with red and black hair – still have it! We're both the same age and I carry a hot water bottle about too! It's good to the know I'm not the only person that walks about with one lol! Do poeple still presume you have 'womens troubles' that's why you have one?

    Keep up the good work!

    Winnie

  8. Sara Says:

    Hi Suzi
    I've been reading for a while and really enjoy the blog. I just wanted to tell you that for Christmas I got an early copy of your book and I thought it was fantastic – well written and with a great sense of humour! Good luck with it and I hope you enjoy the whole experience!

    Sara

  9. Suzi Brent Says:

    Wow, even I haven't got a copy yet! Glad you enjoyed it!

  10. MissMurray Says:

    Good evening,

    I have just come across your blog and have found everything you have written fascinating.
    I too work in a contact centre and face very similar situations as yourself and staff (although the subject is international banking, not emergency services, although some of our clients like to think of themselves as patients)
    I completely understand the stresses of this line of work balanced with the feeling of an elated sense of purpose when you help out that person in need also teamed with the feeling of loss of control when you know you can help and say something to change the situation, but are limited to what you can say due to the many restrictions, rules, regulations (and sometimes downright absurd policies ) applied to being on a phone to another human being.
    I too share the pet hate of those rude and often abusive few that have become the "regulars" who never seem to actually have a purpose for calling you, other than to complain about the services and demand managers attention, often holding up calls from clients who actually have a serious problem (in a foreign country with no access to money, major fraud, etc..)
    Very like when you have to dispatch an ambulance to an obvious "time waster", holding up actual emergencies due to the absurd "no common sense" approach, I too have come across the same problem where internal protocol and procedures override the application of common sense, mainly in the area of fraud A caller comes through who passes security that you have followed, turns out to be a fraudster the key give away is that they are patient and polite which is normally suspicious! and on the flip side A caller , who you know in your heart of hearts IS the account holder, fails the security procedure normally due to something trivial like human error when entering the clients personal details onto the system when setting up their accounts, which results in them unable to access their accounts, sending urgent payments, etc. so in theory the system in place to protect their accounts, more often than not just prevents the actual clients from using their own bank rather than preventing the rare case that it is a genuine fraud.
    But not all is lost, like I said before, there are those few who genuinely are a pleasure to speak with, help and really restore your faith in why you were ever mad enough to choose a job where you much speak with members of the often dreaded public!.

  11. spupeng7 Says:

    Suzi, you would fit in well down under, especially here in Adelaide where the most burly of policemen may be found bouncing about in a floral frock come nidnight. Hope you make it here one day, you deserve a holiday because the work you do makes us all more secure, Thankyou.

  12. Tactical Talk: Emergency Medical Dispatcher Suzi Breni 'Nee Naw' | Tactical Pants Blog Says:

    [...] dispatcher, Breni typed out her adventures in the busy London call center a few times a month at Nee Naw, her blog inspired by Tom Reynolds’ Random Acts of [...]

  13. Mal Says:

    Hi Suzi, I'm reading your book for the second time. I must admit that the first time I didn't believe some of the crazy callers you have to deal with. I can never recall having to call an ambulance either for myself, family or on discovering an emergency situation. It is comforting to know that there are loads of people like yourself who can be sympathetic when needed, but also stand their ground in the face of absolute idiots. Your book had me laughing one minute and crying the next. Every so often on the TV there will be an item on the silly reasons people dial 999. Some of the outlandish ones have been – 'locked myself out', 'broken a finger nail', and so it went on. People must learn to take responsibility for themselves and stop relying on other people except when needed. Good luck in your career, and I reckon there must nearly be enough ammunition for another book.

  14. jennifer Says:

    Fantastic read! book two soon !!!!

    Nee Naw
    Nee Naw was a blog about life in the London Ambulance Service control room. It was written by Suzi Brent from 2005 to 2010. The blog is no longer being updated, but the archives will remain here.
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