About This Blog
If you were to walk into London Ambulance’s control room and you might see a green-clad woman ferociously scribbling notes on the back of a rejected annual leave slip between calls. That woman is me, and those notes form the basis of this blog. Since I started work in the Emergency Operations Centre (or Nee Naw Control, as I like to call it), I have kept a diary my most memorable calls, from delivering babies in pub toilets to soothing hungover teenagers, via the inevitable embarrassing sexual accident. In 2005, I decided that the time had come to release that diary on to the Internet for public consumption. It’s fair to say I didn’t expect it to get quite as much attention as it did!

About Me
I’m in my early thirties and I live in East London. One day, with the help of my inimitably patient driving instructor and a lot of perseverance, I might be on the other side of the fence, driving the ambulances. For now, and for possibly some time to come, I work as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher in London Ambulance’s control room. I started in 2004, where my role was that of a 999 call taker. Over the following five years, I’ve worked my way up and in January 2009, I was promoted to Allocator, which is the person who decides which ambulance goes where. Well, there’s a little more to it than that. These days I’m still in the thick of the action but often it’s a case of listening to someone else take the call and deciding what to do about it. The ambulance crew’s safety and the patients’ health depend on my decisions, so in a way it’s even more responsibility than call taking. I still take calls sometimes. The drama of dealing with a life threatening call, and the satisfaction when you do something to help is something I never want to lose.

I originally wrote this blog under the pseudonym Mark Myers, the real name of a childhood hero of mine who also used a pseudonym. My real name is Suzi Brent, which is short for Susan. I loathe and despite anyone who calls me Sue, to the point when my colleagues started calling me “Cyril” after taking the statement “I prefer ANYTHING to Sue” far too literally.

What On Earth Is A Nee Naw?
A Nee Naw is a child’s word for an ambulance, fire engine or police car, based on a phonetic approximation of the old two-tone siren sounds.

What I Hope To Achieve By Writing This Blog
I’d like to teach the general public a little bit about how, when and why to call for an ambulance. I’d like them to stop shouting “hurry up” in my earhole when the ambulance has already been sent and I’m trying to tell them how to resuscitate their grandma. I’d like Chat magazine to stop referring to those who do my job as “The Operator”. I’d like ambulance crews to know that yes, you are the nearest. I’d like to get my name in LAS News. I’d like to make a few people laugh or smile.

The views expressed within this blog are mine alone and are not representative of London Ambulance Service as a whole, ambulance crews, other Nee Naw Control staff or indeed anyone in the world at all whatsoever. Posts are not vetted by the LAS before publication. All names, places, ages and other identifying details, including those of staff, have been changed to protect confidentiality.

If you have any complaints, queries or suggestions about this blog, please send me an email. For rights enquiries, please contact my agent, Isabel White.

Published Aug 22, 2005 - 5 Comments and counting

5 Comments on “About Nee Naw”
  1. alex Says:

    "I’d like ambulance crews to know that yes, you are the nearest."

    ha! :)

  2. gazza999 Says:

    hey guys just found this site by accident i`m an emt working for the northern ireland ambulance service. have afew questions for you
    1 do your techs cannulate
    2which drugs are they allowed to give

    our service seems to pick and choose the bits of jrcalc that suits them whenever they want. would be glad of any replies please as are management are returning to the dark ages instead of investing in the staff they have

  3. neenaw Says:

    Our techs don't cannulate. You'd probably be better off asking one of them for the full list of drugs they can give – try Tom Reynolds at outwardlyintrovert Says:

    Hey, really interesting blog! Gonna add you to my blogroll if that's okay x

  4. Abi Says:

    Hello, I found this blog by accident – and im really glad i did!!

    I am just a t the end stages of the recruitment process to join the LAS as a Trainee Emergency Medical Dispatcher, so all naive and excited (AND NERVOUS!).

    Have really enjoyed your blog!

    Hope you keep posting :)

    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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