AMBULANCE control room staff are celebrating success after being recognised in front of colleagues from round the globe.

Five staff members from the Welsh Ambulance Service’s three Clinical Contact Centres recently travelled to Las Vegas for the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch’s annual Navigator Conference.

The Welsh contingent were there to be commended after the Trust’s regional emergency call centres in Llanfairfechan, Cwmbran and Llangunnor were awarded Centre of Excellence status.

The accolade recognises the highest standards of triaging calls using the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS), used by call handlers and all staff who receive, process and dispatch help to patients in Wales.

The three-day educational event also included an emotional presentation from those involved in co-ordinating the response to the mass shooting outside the city’s Mandalay Bay Casino in October, where 58 people tragically lost their lives.

Those who travelled from Wales were Utilisation Manager Gill Pleming and call handler Codie Williams based in Llanfairfechan, MPDS Facilitator Michelle Perry and call handler Debbie Goldsmith, who work in Llangunnor, and call handler Danielle Burrows from Vantage Point House in Cwmbran.

Gill said: “It was such a proud moment to be representing the Welsh Ambulance Service as we were recognised for being reaccredited at all three emergency call centres in Wales.

“The learning and the networking was fantastic and we definitely took lots of gold nuggets of information back with us.

“There was also a very emotional and powerful opening presentation, where the centre manager involved in responding to the Las Vegas attack spoke and we remembered those who lost their lives.

“It really brought the impact of these incidents home and how well the services worked together to help people.”

There are currently more than 3,000 emergency medical dispatch centres that use the MPDS system worldwide, and only 250 have achieved Centre of Excellence status to date.

The conference also saw discussions surrounding the latest technological developments and examples of best practice.

The visit was funded by the Welsh Ambulance Service’s bursary scheme, which aims to help staff develop personally and professionally.

Gill said: “This was all about recognising our staff, including our call handlers, who were chosen to attend in recognition of their excellent work.

“They all thought it was absolutely amazing and the presentations by some of the call handlers from around the globe were truly inspiring.

“Looking into the future, we heard about the possibility of people being able to make an emergency call from an app and other ideas such as call takers working from home.

“It was also confirmation that we are ahead of the game on some things, including how we register defibrillators on our systems.”