Pam Barker and Duncan McDonald – Role of the Scottish Ambulance Service Special Operations Response Team (SORT)

Pam Barker and Duncan McDonald - Role of the Scottish Ambulance Service Special Operations Response Team (SORT)

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Pam and Duncan talk us through the roles, responsibilities and capabilities of the SORTs across Scotland.  They detail what and when the SORT team can be of help and what their roles are in the scape of multiagency responses. 


Top 3 Points from this podcast:
  • Gather information and details from the scene, the more information is passed back the more help can be targeted to the situation. 
  • Work with other agencies and use their skills and resources
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and help.

JESIP Principles 

About Pam:

I joined the Ambulance Service as an Ambulance Technician and subsequently a Paramedic, working in a rural area in the South West of Scotland.  Working in this environment enabled me to develop my clinical and patient assessment skills in the pre-hospital environment.  During this time, I developed an interest in how the Ambulance Service approaches Major Incident Management and Command and Control at larger scale jobs.  It was this desire to become more efficient at managing a scene that motivated me to apply for a job with the Special Operational Response Team (SORT), based in the West of Scotland.  I have been a SORT Paramedic for three years, in which time I have had an extensive insight as to what is expected from a SORT Paramedic; gaining experience and training in various disciplines that SORT specialises in.  As part of Team Foxtrot, I am now a Training Lead where I continue to learn and train with the team to enable us to further our capabilities.  

About Duncan:

My name Duncan McDonald and I am currently a paramedic with the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) based in the west. 

I have been in the service for eight years now with six of them as a paramedic and nearly four of them with SORT in the west. Since joining SORT I have been fortunate enough to gain all qualifications both core disciplines expected of the SORT paramedic and voluntary disciplines such as Swift Water Rescue, Working at heights and confined space. 

During my time at SORT, I have been afforded the opportunity to career development and have been successful in attaining Instructor certificates in a couple of disciplines. I have been fortunate to be involved closely with the training department in the planning and delivery of our Induction Foundation Incident Response course (IFIR). This is the course that all new paramedics to SORT have to go through and pass to become qualified and able to work confidently within the teams. 

I am involved with the West of Scotland CPD group and see my future within training and development however at this time very much enjoy my role on my team delivering care to patients. 

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