Caitlin and Zara are much loved and valued members of the team. As soon as they arrived at CIPHER headquarters they announced their presence in a magical way. They are reliable, sturdy and will stand the test of time as they provide a valuable service to vulnerable members of society in need of medical attention, across the platitude of jobs they attend 365 days a year.
In a nice twist of fate their human namesakes have also joined the CIPHER Medical team and now work on the ambulances christened by their influence.
One feature of life at CIPHER Medical is ambulances being named after loved ones, and 23 of the 40 vehicles named are female.
Caitlin Hills is a Nurse and Medical Responder working within the events team. Caitlin has been with CIPHER for 18 months and is enjoying the family feel within the organisation. She believes one of the best things about working for CIPHER is the range of different learning options on offer.
Caitlin, 24, from Chester Le Street said: “I felt very privileged finding out I had an ambulance named after me, more so on discovering my sister had one too. It was a little surreal when I first began working here, but with 40+ ambulances named after loved ones, it quickly became the norm.
“I mainly work events and every day is different. We cover so many different events, but ultimately, I know I will have a great day, with an amazing team, whilst helping others.”
When asked about the importance of setting good examples on International Women’s Day, Caitlin said: “With CIPHER, I think it is important to give the care you would want you or your family to receive. CIPHER have a very big ‘one team’ ethic, where the whole team feels like a family, and we don’t want to let each other down.
“So I believe we all try and set good examples as we don’t want to let the team down.”
Zara Thomas, 15 is one of the newest and youngest recruits at CIPHER. She has joined as Logistics Support which involves checking vehicles are clean, presentable and fit for purpose.
Zara has been working at CIPHER for just over a month and is enjoying her experience whilst preparing for her exams.
Zara was actually the first named vehicle at CIPHER five years ago, when Zara herself was just 10 years old. When asked how she felt being the first named ambulance and one of two people named who now work with the company, she said: “It feels good. It shows that people care for you and it’s a nice way of bringing people together and showing they are valued.”
When asked what International Women’s Day means to her, she said: “I appreciate International Women’s Day as it means a lot, as women were taken for granted or laughed at for trying to work. It wasn’t long ago that women had to fight for their vote and a voice to be heard, and there are still places around the world where women suffer.
“We enjoy a female friendly workplace, but we shouldn’t take it for granted.”
International Women’s Day often features inspirational accounts of women who have managed to make it to the top of their platforms, but CIPHER would like to acknowledge the key role women fulfil throughout the year, in all areas of the medical service based in Stockton on Tees.
From Heads of Department such as Lisa Beevers-Grey and Caroline Wright who manage Patient Transport Service and Events, respectively, to recent recruit Zara, women hold positions of responsibility throughout the organisation.
On the senior leadership team (SLT) Kirsty Thomas joins Lisa and Caroline to represent 50% of the six SLT members as female.
CIPHER have seven leaders across the departments and five of these positions are held by women, plus an additional three team leaders, all fulfilled by women.
In the historically male dominated world of Paramedics, CIPHER happily embrace placing the right person into the right role and coincidently the female representation throughout the organisation is relatively balanced.
International Women’s Day is an important reminder that all people are equal and deserve fair treatment, pay and respect.