A team of 12 dedicated volunteer doctors will be on call right across the festive and New Year period to keep residents safe and save lives.
During 2022, the BEEP Doctors Cumbria charity has attended 245 incidents across the county and members have completed more than 1,000 volunteering hours.
Cumbria’s BEEP Doctors provide enhanced pre-hospital emergency care and an extra level of medical intervention not normally available until a patient reaches hospital.
They work closely with the police and fire services, North West Ambulance Service, Great North Air Ambulance Service and North West Air Ambulance.
BEEP Doctors can carry out some surgical procedures, such as inserting chest drains; some can perform pre-hospital anaesthetics; and all are able to administer drugs that most road crew paramedics can not.
Many of the emergencies they attend are road traffic collisions, as well as incidents involving farms, pushbikes, animals and water.
The doctors are a combination of GPs, consultants in emergency and pre-hospital medicine, anaesthetic and intensive care.
One of the team is Dr Amit Paik, 36, a GP in Carlisle, who also has a surgical background and joined BEEP Doctors five years ago.
“During my training years as a registrar I was doing some work in A and E and saw someone I had not seen before come into the resuscitation room with a sick patient,” said Dr Paik.
“It was Dr Theo Weston, chair of BEEP Doctors. I spoke to some of the consultants and they told me about BEEP Doctors and suggested I had a talk with them.
“I went to some of their training meetings and learned about their work. What tipped it for me to join was the dedication they were showing and the real opportunity to utilise my skills to give something back to the community.”
Dr Paik said working as a BEEP Doctor was very different to working in a hospital environment, where there were lots of people around when dealing with an emergency.
“Outside you have fantastic support from the ambulance service but you often end up having to adapt very quickly to an infinite number of variables.
“I build my BEEP Doctors’ work around times I am not at the surgery so often it can be in the evening, at night or during the weekend daytime hours. Invariably a call seems to come through at dinner time or during The Great British Bake Off!”
Dr Paik said one of the best things about being a BEEP Doctor was the ability to attend and support the ambulance service at emergencies in the local community.